YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Several animals made headlines during the pandemic with a diagnosis of COVID-19.

The most recent was a lion at Akron Zoo. Health experts say the lion was likely infected by a zoo employee.

According to the CDC, the risk of contracting COVID-19 from an animal is low, but scientists are still learning about the relationship. A human can transmit the virus to an animal, especially when in close contact.

Recent experimental research shows that many mammals, including cats, dogs, field voles, ferrets, fruit bats, hamsters, mink, pigs, rabbits, raccoon dogs, shrews and white-tailed deer can be infected with the virus.

Animals declared infected include:

  • Pets including pet cats and dogs and a ferret.
  • Animals in zoos and sanctuaries, including several types of big cats, otters, and non-human primates.
  • Mink in mink farms.
  • White-tailed deer wild in several US states.

People suspected or confirmed of COVID-19 should avoid contact with animals, including pets, livestock and wildlife, according to the CDC.

At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in the spread of COVID-19.

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