Otters at the Georgia Aquarium have Tested Positive for COVID-19

Drew Maddox, Staff Writer

An Asian Small- Clawed Otter recovering from Covid off the exhibit. credit: The Georgia Aquarium

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, the Asian Small-Clawed Otters at the Georgia Aquarium have been tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2.

After the otters were showing mild respiratory symptoms of the virus including sneezing, runny noses, and coughing, they were soon tested for the virus. When their tests came back positive, they were sent to an off-exhibit for their recovery. Although their symptoms are mild, they are off-exhibit and being cared for by the aquarium’s finest healthcare professionals. 

Freshman Kate Holloway was informed about the otters’ current situation at the aquarium. She said, “I find it pretty crazy how these otters have caught the virus. I am hoping they will reach full recovery soon so that they can go back to their normal routines.”

Although it is rare, health care professionals are coming to the conclusion that the virus was spread to the otters through the infection of a staff member. Taking the safe route, staff working with these otters have been tested to avoid any additional spreading throughout the aquarium. A different location has been issued to the otters until they reach full recovery to socially distance them. 

There is no further research on the long-term impact of COVID-19 on otters, but based on their health status, it is foreseen that there will not be any long-term issues as a result. The otters are expected to reach a full recovery and will soon be reunited with their home exhibit. 

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