What animals can catch the new coronavirus?

Which species can catch the novel coronavirus? That’s a question researchers are trying to answer as they try to determine what wildlife, pets and domesticated animals may be susceptible — and if they can pass it on to humans. About a dozen animals are known to be able to contract the virus SARS-CoV-2, writes Nature. Pet cats and dogs — including the first confirmed dog case in the United States — have caught the virus. So have captive lions and tigers. Farmed mink became infected, spreading the disease among each other and likely to humans. Jürgen Richt, a veterinary virologist at Kansas State University, tells Nature that related canids, felids and mustelids may also be susceptible. Lab experiments have shown ferrets, hamsters, rabbits and common marmosets are, too. And the disease likely began in bats.

“The establishment of a pandemic virus in animal populations can be critical and should be always taken into consideration,” says Martin Beer, a virologist at the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health in Germany.

Read more from Nature.

Header Image: As researchers find more species susceptible to the novel coronavirus, like minks at a Dutch mink farm, it raises questions about what other animals may be able to contract it. Credit: Tom Koerner/USFWS