(ORDO NEWS) — The mortality rate from COVID-19 in animals, including gorillas, may be higher than in humans, Ilya Gomyranov, a zoologist and employee of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, told RIA Novosti.
Earlier it became known that eight gorillas at the zoo in San Diego (USA) contracted a coronavirus infection.
“In the past, there have already been cases when primates were seriously ill and died due to viruses that cause the common cold in humans. It is difficult to say how the covid apes will affect the great apes, but there are fears that among them the mortality rate may be higher than that of people”, – said Goranov.
He noted that among specialists almost immediately after the appearance of a new coronavirus in the human population, concerns arose for the health of wild and domestic animals.
“Of course, the greatest fear is caused by the transmission of the virus to our closest relatives: chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans, as well as other primates, many of which are on the verge of extinction and live in groups in close contact in a limited area,” the source said.
In his opinion, despite the fact that many zoos are closed to visitors, workers with an asymptomatic course can transfer the infection to gorillas.
“Gorillas, both in nature and in zoos, live in family groups, contacts between them are not limited in any way, which means that the infection will spread among the whole family,” the scientist said.
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