Suspected mice-to-human Covid transmission investigated — Analysis
Taiwanese authorities are investigating a lab employee who tested positive for Covid following being bitten in the stomach by coronavirus-infected mouse. It marked the island’s first reported case in weeks.
The woman, who worked at Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s top research institute, came down with Covid last month. She was bitten by coronavirus-infected mice twice, according to health authorities. Although it is now known that she was infected by the coronavirus, this remains a mystery. Yet, the country’s health minister, Chen Shih-chung, is quoted as saying that the “The possibility of getting infected at work is much higher than it would be if there were no confirmed infections in the local community.”
The woman in question had no recent travel history and, besides, had been inoculated with Moderna’s Covid vaccine, according to reports. A lab that she worked in is believed to be very secure, with a very high degree of bio-safety. Close to 100 people have been quarantined after coming in contact with an infected employee of the laboratory.
Taiwan is home to more than 23 million people. It has the lowest Covid infectivity rates due to being entirely sealocked and strict security measures taken by authorities early in the pandemic. To date, Taiwan has recorded only 16,704 Covid infections and a total of 848 deaths – figures which stand in stark contrast to the grim statistics from most other regions.
It has been common for dogs and cats to contract the disease. A recent instance in Belgium saw two hippos tested positive at Antwerp Zoo. The good news is that animals are more resilient than people, and often have no symptoms or mild symptoms. The transmission of Covid from infected pets to human beings is unknown.