Otters test positive for COVID-19 at aquarium in Georgia

Asian small-clawed otter

FILE – An Asian small-clawed otter waits to be fed at the Woodland Park Zoo (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

ATLANTA, GA — Otters at a Georgia aquarium tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the facility said Sunday.

The Asian small-clawed otters had symptoms including sneezing, runny noses and mild lethargy, according to the aquarium. Some otters began coughing.

They’re expected to make full recoveries.

“They are off exhibit and being cared for behind-the-scenes by our expert animal health and care teams,” the aquarium said in a statement.

Health and safety protocols were followed, but officials at the aquarium believe the otters may have gotten sick from contact with an asymptomatic staff member.

The otters do not have direct contact with aquarium guests.

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