18:51 GMT23 January 2021
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    While there is yet no credible scientific information regarding the role of animals in spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus to humans, it is known that humans can transmit the disease to animals in the event of close contact.

    Three gorillas from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in California tested positive for teh COVID-19 coronavirus on Monday, according to Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the US Department of Agriculture.

    "The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) today announced confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in three gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in California", the statement said. "These are the first gorillas in the United States to be confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2."

    The test results were also announced by California Governor Gavin Newsom during a press briefing, adding that two gorillas had tested positive, with one "asymptomatic" gorilla.

    ​According to USDA, cats seem to be the species most affected by the coronavirus infection in the US, as at least 25 cats were confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19. There were also 15 dogs registered to have the coronavirus, 16 minks and 7 tigers.

    Scientists suggest, however, that there is no significant evidence of a role by animals in spreading the coronavirus infection.

    One of the main versions attempting to explain the origin of the global pandemic, however, suggests that it came from wild animals, particularly bats.

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    coronavirus, COVID-19, gorilla, US
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