No evidence ram tested positive for Covid-19 in northern Nigeria

“Breaking news! Ram tested positive for Coronavirus in Niger State,” says a post shared on Facebook on 12 July 2020.

The post shows a photo of a ram – a male goat – with its legs tied together, receiving an intravenous infusion.

Niger state is in Nigeria’s North Central geopolitical zone.

Other posts making the same claim say the infected ram was in Katsina and Kano, other states in northern Nigeria.

The Facebook posts have been shared hundreds of times. The story has also been reported by a number of Nigerian blogs that claim to share news, but are not transparent about their sources. 

Does the photo really show a ram infected with Covid-19, and where was the photo taken?

Source of photo unknown

There have been no reports by any major news outlet of a ram testing positive for Covid-19.

We could not find a definitive source for the photo. A reverse image search only leads to reports making the same claim. 

The photo was also posted in a collection of “28 funny pictures and hilarious jokes” on Opera News on 15 July. The photo is uncaptioned, and was posted to amuse readers. It doesn’t provide any further details about the truthfulness of the stories circulating on social media. 

NCDC not testing animals

Nasir Yusuf, an executive in the Kano chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, told Africa Check the claim was false. 

“There are many journalists in Kano and none of us published such news about a ram testing positive for Covid-19. I am hearing the news for the first time,” Yusuf said.

He added that he hadn’t heard anything like it from anyone in the journalists’ network in Niger or Katsina states either.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s communication team told us no animal testing had been done in the country. None of its laboratories had reported anything like a goat testing positive for Covid-19.

Animals can get Covid-19

According to the World Health Organization, or WHO, “several dogs and cats (domestic cats and tigers) in contact with infected humans have tested positive for Covid-19”. Minks raised in farms for fur have also tested positive. 

The WHO advises that people who are sick with Covid-19 and people who are at risk limit contact with pets and other animals. But, for now, there are no trustworthy reports of goats contracting the disease. – Motunrayo Joel


 

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