USDA: Ferret tests positive for COVID-19 in Florida

Coronavirus

In this April 2014 photo provided by the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre at the University of Saskatchewan, a researcher holds a ferret at their facility in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. In 2020, the lab is working with 300 ferrets developing a COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine candidate and testing other vaccine candidates and therapeutics. (VIDO-InterVac at the University of Saskatchewan via AP)

MIAMI (AP) — Federal officials say a ferret has tested positive for COVID-19 in Florida.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday that this is the first ferret to test positive for COVID-19 in the United States. A ferret in the European nation of Slovenia previously tested positive for the virus.

USDA officials say samples from the Florida ferret were tested after the animal showed symptoms that included sneezing and coughing.

Officials believe the ferret acquired the infection from a person with COVID-19. The small mustelids are commonly kept as pets.

Officials didn’t say where in Florida the infected ferret was found.

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