Coronavirus | Spare monkeys the virus, say biologists

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Feeding monkeys during the COVID-19 pandemic could have profoundly negative effects in the long-term, such as helping the SARS-CoV-2 virus mutate and infect primates, biologists have said in a note, advising caution.

Honnavalli M. Kumara, principal scientist at the Salim Ali Center for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), said it was well documented that viruses and endoparasites could transmit between humans and primates.

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“The worst-case scenario is that SARS-CoV-2 mutates and infects other primate species. This could lead to many scenarios, such as the virus affecting the health of the affected animal populations or the animals serving as reservoirs or hosts and spreading the disease to other species or human populations,” another senior wildlife biologist from Tamil Nadu said.

“It is a matter of common sense to limit interaction between humans and wildlife, especially primates,” he added. Feeding primates should be discouraged regardless of

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