An elderly gorilla is recovering from a severe covid-19 condition after being treated with state-of-the-art synthetic antibodies, the San Diego Zoo announced on Monday.
Veterinarians now identify which animals to inject the limited supply of vaccines available to the zoo.Winston, 48, was one of several gorillas at the “San Diego Zoo Safari Park” who tested positive for covid-19 on January 11th, after studies based on fecal samples. It was the first known case of natural transmission of the virus to great primates, and it is suspected that it occurred due to contact with an asymptomatic employee, despite the use of personal protective equipment.
The group of gorillas remained under observation after diagnosis, and some of the animals showed symptoms such as mild cough, congestion, runny nose and lethargy. Due to old age, his symptoms and concern for the underlying conditions, Winston was examined under anesthesia.
The vets confirmed that he had pneumonia and heart disease and started treatment that included heart medications, antibiotics and monoclonal antibody therapy.Monoclonal antibodies are a laboratory version of the body’s natural proteins that fight infections and are administered by intravenous infusion.
The use of monoclonal antibodies against covid-19 has been approved in the United States.
The treatment was used on former President Donald Trump.The treatment of the Winston gorilla, however, came from a supply not allowed for human use, according to the statement.“ The veterinary team that treated Winston believes that the antibodies may have contributed to his ability to overcome the virus,” he added.