WOLVES AND CORONAVIRUS: What are the facts?

An article in “OutThere Colorado” recently noted that a coalition against the translocation of wolves into Colorado is claiming that wolves carry coronavirus, which provides yet another reason not to promote the proliferation of these apex predators into the state.

Image result for gray wolf

While a quick Google search reveals that many veterinary disease experts claim that the type of canine coronavirus found in wolves poses little to no risk for humans, a more detailed search reveals that just the opposite may be true.

According to the World Health Organization, “Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.”

The origin of the current COVID-19 outbreak is believed to be infected animals from the Wuhan marketplace, which sells snakes, bats, and WOLVES. In fact, researchers now believe that the original virus may have moved from snakes, to bats, to humans. It would not be surprising that additional research could reveal that wolves should also be included in the list of suspected reservoirs for COVID-19, or at the very least, some potentially future coronavirus outbreak.

The fact that coronaviruses can, and do cross the species barrier from animals to humans is NOT new information. According to the National Institutes of Health, “The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) illustrates that coronaviruses (CoVs) may quiescently emerge from possible animal reservoirs and can cause potentially fatal disease in humans, as previously recognized for animals.”

It is a fact that wolves can carry over 150 diseases, including coronavirus and multiple species of endo or ecto parasites. It is also a fact that wolves can transmit many of these diseases to other species, including livestock, other wildlife, and humans.

As noted by many researchers, wolves kill in a variety of ways, and some of those ways are only now becoming known.

Sources for this article include:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2231162-wuhan-coronavirus-may-have-been-transmitted-to-people-from-snakes/?fbclid=IwAR30t8Idep_vkv0p4oxXTMskKXsT9mQ7dotxrdxk0fif4rRon-NBRrbGarY

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92442/?fbclid=IwAR0XGcD5pv1wKoYspqGSWrTAHWJXZgEDoFAElFgoJb8dqVNcbveSHx8dm28

https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus?fbclid=IwAR3oaSgGp5iynQhWznRrA8A0FmlKhkm1gCyahFptvjwHNQQiyPbkRSCqtf0

https://www.businessinsider.com/wuhan-virus-china-bans-food-markets-selling-live-animals-wolves-2020-1

6 thoughts on “WOLVES AND CORONAVIRUS: What are the facts?

  1. Anonymous

    Like seriously, what is it with you and wolves?

    Dogs (funnily enough, are actually related to wolves, as I am sure you know) kill thousands of people a year, and can carry diseases/illness that humans can pick up. Should we reduce the amount of domesticated dogs too?

  2. Just a couple of points to make in regards to the previous comment from anonymous 12:05….

    So, like seriously, anonymous, are you ignorant of the fact that unlike wolves, dogs should and do receive regular vaccinations for a whole host of diseases that can be dangerous not just to the dog, but also to humans?

    Like seriously, anonymous, are you ignorant of the fact that regarding some of the most dangerous canine diseases, dog owners are required by law to make sure specific vaccinations are administered?

    Like seriously, anonymous, are you totally ignorant of the fact that the only coronavirus vaccine currently in existence is specific to canines?

    Like seriously, anonymous, if you have an intelligent point to make, please make it, or go someplace else to spout your nonsense.

    Is that “funnily” enough for you?

  3. In the U.S. at least, the vast majority of our dogs receive regular veterinary care. Besides the recommended and mandatory vaccinations for dogs (which can include the canine coronavirus vaccine)….we pull ticks off them, treat them for mange, and regularly de-worm them so they don’t spread these common canine parasites and diseases to other animals or our families. Meanwhile wolves are free to spread a host of diseases and parasites across the landscape. For example, almost 70% of wolves tested are contaminated with the echinococcus granulosus parasite and spread this disease in their feces where grazing ungulates then pick it up (secondary hosts) and thus continue the cycle. In many countries where wolves (and wild dogs) have been allowed to proliferate, hydatid disease is already considered a public health crisis. While hydatid disease may only be at the emergent stage here in the U.S., the fact that it is spreading, along with many other “animal” diseases, indicates that it is past time to reassess some of our absurd “endangered species” policies in light of the true health and economic impacts on human beings.

  4. Anonymous

    ‘ a coalition against the translocation of wolves into Colorado is claiming that wolves carry coronavirus, which provides yet another reason not to promote the proliferation of these apex predators into the state.’

    Somebody CLAIMING something without evidence is not evidence for anything.

    This ‘new’ virus was transmitted from bats, not wolves. Hell let us go out and exterminate all the bats now shall we?

  5. Anon 9:02AM,

    Canine coronavirus is a well known common viral infection among all canids, including wolves. So yes, wolves do carry coronavirus. That information can be easily verified on any veterinary or animal disease website.

    The specific claim in question is whether or not canine coronovirus can be transmitted to humans and whether or not wolves pose a health risk to the general public.

    The anti-wolf coalition claim pertains to coronavirus specifically, but I contend that their claim underscores the threat wolves pose to public health from many other well known wolf transmitted diseases.

    As I noted in the article, health authorities confirm that animal coronaviruses can and do cross the species barrier. As I also noted in the article, bats are certainly prime suspects in the COVID-19 chain. However other animals, including pigs, camels, snakes, and pangolins, are all suspected as vectors for the emerging human coronaviruses (MERS, SARS, COVID-19 etc).

    Wolves, which were in fact present in the Wuhan marketplace and could indeed be in the COVID-19 chain along with bats and snakes, are particularly nasty reservoirs for over 150 known diseases and parasites.

    Hydatid disease for example, has been documented in the vast majority of wolves sampled. Hydatid eggs are being transmitted to other canids, other wildlife, and to humans. Hydatid disease is considered an emergent disease which has already reached crisis levels in other countries wherever wolves and/or wild dogs and humans live in close proximity. Yet, hydatid disease constitutes just one of their deadly gifts to mankind.

    My contention, and the point of this article, which you somehow missed, is that wolves kill in a variety of ways. Some of the ways wolves kill are well known and readily visible, some are silent and unseen, and some are yet to be discovered.

    The anti-wolf coalition was right to point out the threat.

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