Credit: Alet Pretorius / Gallo Images via Getty Images

Each day, cases in New York continue to surge at an alarming rate with over 100,000 people infected. While it appeared that things could not get any worse, reports have flooded the internet following a positive COVID-19 test result from a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York. It is believed to be the first known case of an animal in the US contracting the virus and causes fears surrounding the pandemic to grow.

The four-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia is among seven tigers and lions that have fallen ill with reports suggesting that an A-symptomatic zoo keeper passed on the virus. The first animal started showing symptoms on March 27 after the park was closed on March 16. The animals are said to be doing well.

The US Department of Agriculture confirmed Nadia’s test result at its veterinary lab and said there were no known cases of the virus in US pets or livestock.

“There doesn’t appear to be, at this time, any evidence that suggests that the animals can spread the virus to people or that they can be a source of the infection in the United States,” Dr Jane Rooney, a veterinarian and a USDA official, said in an interview.

Routine testing for animals is not recommended however.

During the height of the pandemic in Hong Kong during February and March, a dog tested positive for low levels of the virus after it was exposed to the ill owner. At this time there is no evidence to suggest that animals can pass on the virus to humans.

Stay tuned for any further developments.