Hippo at the Antwerp ZooWhen veterinarians at the Antwerp Zoo noticed hippopotamuses with runny noses, they didn’t just offer them tissues: they tested them and found COVID-19.

Pandemic points up need for cross-species approach to health: professor

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic almost two years ago, humans have not been the only species to contract the virus. Instead, its spread has revealed how health connects humans, animals, and the environment, says anthrozoology professor Beth Daly.

In an article published Tuesday in the Conversation, which shares news and views from the academic and research community, she argues that responding to the pandemic has been a model of the “One Health” approach considering these relationships.

“It is important to remember that animals are the likely source of the current pandemic,” Dr. Daly writes. “There are concerns that the COVID-19 virus has the potential to remain undetected in an animal and could mutate and become more infectious or dangerous to humans.”

She notes that an estimated three of every four new infectious diseases in humans originated in animals, and concludes that the current pandemic has been a wake-up call for recognizing how a commitment to the health and well-being of humans, animals, and the environment can thwart future global health crises.

Read the entire piece, “Understanding how animals become infected with COVID-19 can help control the pandemic,” in the Conversation.