U of C researchers say some non-human primates face similar COVID-19 risks as humans

CALGARY — Non-human primates are at as much risk of catching COVID-19 as humans are, a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Calgary and New York University found.

The study, published in the scientific journal Communications Biology, predicts that apes, as well as African and Asian monkeys face similar risks of contracting COVID-19, while the risk posed to lemurs and monkeys from the Americas is more variable.

Lemur

Researchers say the concept of social distancing may need to extend to animals as well.

“Major actions may be needed to limit the exposure of many primate populations to humans,” said biological anthropologist Amanda Melin, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeologyy and lead author of the paper.

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