Inhabitants of oceanariums, including cetaceans, can become infected with human coronavirus, said Maria Vorontsova, biologist, participant in conferences of the UN conventions in the field of animal protection and biodiversity.
“We decided to screen animals to understand which species the virus can skip to. Scientists are finding out which animal cells have receptors on which the virus can skip. Relatively recently, 40 species of animals have been isolated by the structure of cells that the virus can sit on and can infect them. In particular, these are all toothed whales: dolphins, whales, killer whales, narwhals, as well as seals. The apes are at risk. Therefore, they protect gorillas in Africa so that there is no transmission of the virus, “said Vorontsova.
She also added that in an aquarium, the danger of catching the virus from humans in animals is greatly increased. In addition, reverse gear is also possible.
“If we go back to animals, then, for example, killer whales animals are very tender and easily infected from humans. In oceanariums, animals live only in the presence of a veterinarian, so the coronavirus will be an additional burden,” said Vorontsova.