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Whale found in Arctic could be susceptible to COVID-19, researchers suggest

Whale found in Arctic could be susceptible to COVID-19, researchers suggest
Posted at 6:03 PM, Oct 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-14 18:03:40-04

Researchers say a whale found in the Arctic could be susceptible to COVID-19 since it's "particularly susceptible to infection."

Researchers headed up by Martin Nweeia from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, will observe wildlife, mainly the narwhal whale is known for its vast nine-foot tusk.

"Scientists have a difficult enough time keeping up with the human spread of this virus, so we are eager to monitor an animal that is particularly susceptible to infection," Nweeia said in a press release.

Nweeia has studied the narwhal for over 20 years, so he and his team know that animals can get the deadly virus.

"If this coronavirus were to gain a foothold in wildlife, there could be potential cascading impacts for ecosystems worldwide and the communities that rely on them," Nweeia added.

Additionally, Nweeia and his team have already been observing the Ugandan lowland gorilla see its susceptibility because if it ever came into contact with one organism with COVID-19, it could wipe out the entire species, Nweeia said.