Otters at the Georgia Aquarium caught Covid-19 from a worker

Otters at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta had signs of a cold – sneezing, coughing, runny noses – and it turns out it was Covid-19.

Apparently the Asian small-clawed otters caught the coronavirus from an employee at the Aquarium. "Despite following all recommended health and safety protocols," the Aquarium posted on Facebook, "it is suspected the otters may have acquired the infection from an asymptomatic staff member." 

According to the CDC, all kinds of animals around the world have caught Covid–19, most likely from humans, including cats, dogs, at least one ferret, mink, big cats (like lions and tigers), and gorillas. (And now otters.) "It is suspected that these animals became sick after being exposed to an animal caretaker with COVID-19," says the CDC. "In many situations, this happened despite the staff wearing personal protective equipment and following COVID-19 precautions."

Fortunately the otters "are doing well," according to NBC, and are being kept away from visitors until they recover. Currently there are no Covid vaccines available for animals.

Image by Laura Wolf / Flickr