Could the Zika Virus Infect Wild Turkeys?
Following the mosquito-spread outbreak in south Florida of the Zika virus, researchers began investigating whether the disease could affect animals as well as humans and in what way.
Given that turkeys inhabit many areas where mosquitoes are found, especially the Osceola subspecies found in south Florida, it’s natural to wonder if they could be at risk. So far, however, no evidence has been found that the virus infects animals the same as it does with humans.
According to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only apes and monkeys have shown any sign of infection when exposed to the virus. That resulted in only mild fever with no other symptoms.
The Zika virus may cause birth defects in pregnant women infected with it, including microcephaly. The outbreak in 2016 was ultimately contained but with summer approaching, researchers are still investigating the virus’ effects on humans and animals, along with how it is spread and ways to prevent it.