The millions of Norway rats living with New Yorkers are among the animals that can contract the virus that causes covid-19, according to a new study. However, reports of the virus spreading from any type of animal to humans remain rare.
Pets, such as cats, dogs, and hamsters; zoo animals, such as big cats, primates, and hippos; farmed mink, and wild animals such as deer and anteaters are among the animals in which covid-19 cases have been reported. For the study, published Thursday in the American Academy of Microbiology journal mBio, researchers captured 79 rats from three Brooklyn locations in the fall of 2021 and tested them for exposure to SARS-CoV-2.
“Most of the rats were caught in urban parks in Brooklyn, although some were caught near buildings outside the park boundaries,” study co-author Dr. Tom DeLiberto, SARS coordinator, said in a news release. -CoV-2 in the Animal and Phytosanitary Inspection Service of the US Department of Agriculture.
Thirteen of the 79 rats, i.e. 16.5%, had IgG or IgM antibodies against the virus, suggesting a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.