Ferret tests positive for coronavirus in Florida, officials say

FILE PHOTO (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP) (AP)

MIAMI – Federal authorities announced on Friday a ferret that was sneezing and coughing in Florida tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories, the ferret is the first in the country to test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

Florida’s Bronson Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory performed the ferret’s test, according to the USDA. Authorities suspect a person infected the ferret.

The USDA reported the rare case to The World Organization for Animal Health or OIE. Officials do not recommend routine testing of animals. People with COVID-19 can spread the virus to animals during close contact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.