Georgia Aquarium says its otters have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19

The Georgia Aquarium's social media photo of its Asian small-clawed otter.
The Georgia Aquarium's social media photo of its Asian small-clawed otter. (Georgia Aquarium)

The Georgia Aquarium announced Sunday that its Asian small-clawed otters have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

“They began exhibiting mild respiratory symptoms such as sneezing, runny noses, mild lethargy, and some began coughing,” a post on social media read. “We’re happy to report they are doing well and expected to make a full recovery.”

The animals are not being exhibited and are receiving treatment by veterinary teams.

“Despite following all recommended health and safety protocols, it is suspected the otters may have acquired the infection from an asymptomatic staff member,” the post continues. “The risk of animal-to-human transmission is incredibly rare. The Asian small-clawed otters at the Aquarium do not have direct contact with guests.”

Our Asian small-clawed otters have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They began exhibiting...

Posted by Georgia Aquarium on Sunday, April 18, 2021

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Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, social media news and local crime.