WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A troop of monkeys attacked a lab assistant in India and stole samples of blood from patients who tested positive for coronavirus.
- Medical officials said that they have recovered the samples intact and there’s no risk of infection because human to animal infection has been rare.
- Although they had to retake blood samples, the recovered samples showed no contamination and the area has been sanitized.
What are the chances that blood samples could be taken away by monkeys? CNN reported that at Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial Medical College and Hospital in Meerut, located in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, a band of monkeys attacked a lab assistant and went off with the samples.
What made this incident alarming is that the blood samples were from patients being treated for the coronavirus.
It is unclear whether the monkeys can be infected with the virus if they come in contact with the blood. Only one known case of a human-animal infection has occurred when a Bronx Zoo worker transferred the virus to a tiger.
“We are still learning about this virus, but we know it is primarily spreading from person-to-person and it appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on its website.
Twitter user Sanjay Jha managed to capture a video footage which has gone viral of a monkey holding a white object. It appeared to chew on the white object while perched on tree branches.
Meerut Medical College superintendent Dheeraj Raj, said the monkeys tossed the objects undamaged and officials have already recovered it. The area has also been disinfected and sanitized, and the recovered samples thrown away.
“They were still intact and we don’t think there is any risk of contamination or spread,” Raj said.
Coronavirus cases in India are at 165,799 and 4,706 deaths.
Hardest hit by the coronavirus is the US, with 1.7 million cases and 101,635 deaths.