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The Extremely Infectious Distemper Virus Has Now Been Detected In Covid Infected Lions At Vandalur Zoo

Vandalur Zoo
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For representational purposes

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Following the pandemic, the endangered Asiatic lions at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park (AAZP), also known as Vandalur Zoo, are now infected with the Canine Distemper Virus (CDV). The extremely contagious CDV was found in one lion and the deceased young lioness Neela.

Following the pandemic, the endangered Asiatic lions at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park (AAZP), also known as Vandalur Zoo, are now infected with the Canine Distemper Virus (CDV). The extremely contagious CDV was found in one lion and the deceased young lioness Neela.

Only a few years ago, a CDV outbreak in Gujarat's Gir forest killed an unprecedented number of Asiatic lions, sparking a crisis.

Ragave, a 19-year-old lion, was tested positive for CDV but negative for Covid-19, according to the latest data from the ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly. Supriya Sahu, the environment secretary who is closely monitoring the situation, appeared to be in good condition and had a regular appetite.

He has been separated from the rest of the group and is being closely monitored. The Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University has dispatched an expert team to the scene. According to the official, CDV was detected in lioness Neela's sample, which was being examined at IVRI.

Vandalur Zoo director Debasis Jana stated that the IVRI was instructed to test seven samples for SARS-CoV-2 alone, but it has incidentally tested the samples for comorbidities as well and has found the samples of two lions Neela who is dead and Ragave being Covid negative as positive for CDV

IVRI has checked for comorbidities, according to the official, in order to determine a better treatment regimen for the accompanying animals. According to zoo sources, Neela died as a result of Covid. The immune system is compromised by Covid infection, and subsequent infections are prevalent. The IVRI wrote to the Vandalur Zoo that animals who tested positive for Covid also tested positive for a variety of secondary infections that are typical in human Covid.

According to TANUVAS health director Dr. G Dhinakar Raj, who is also a virus expert, Neela must have perished more owing to Covid-19 based on the available clinical data and the TANUVAS team's study of the corpse. The CDV had to be comorbid and an unintended discovery. Because the animal will usually experience muscle twitching, convulsions, and lachrymation in fatal CDV cases.

He did warn, however, that CDV can be devastating, with a 50% death rate in adults and an 80% mortality rate in young animals.

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