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Tiger Tested

Wired writes that a tiger living at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, leading some to wonder how the cat could get tested when many people cannot.

As Wired reports, the tiger, called Nadia, and a few other cats developed coughs and fell ill to the point they neglected their food. This led, it says, the zookeepers to run lots of tests on Nadia and, eventually, one for COVID-19. As veterinary diagnosticians tell Wired, the test Nadia got is similar to but not the same as the human test for the virus.

In addition to knowing that cats can be infected with SARS-CoV-2, Wired adds that testing animals can help researchers better understand how the virus spread from animals to humans, and, possibly in Nadia's case, from a human to an animal, as well as how it affects animals.

"Since the beginning, we've known that this is a disease that started off in animals and spilled over to people," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Casey Barton Behravesh tells Wired. "It'll be important for people working on human health and animal health issues to exchange information."

Nadia and the other cats, it adds, are doing better.