Update: Elephant at Sedgwick County Zoo recovers from potentially deadly virus
Published: Jun. 11, 2020 at 3:27 PM CDT
Update June 24, 2020 Zuberi, a 12-year-old female African elephant, has recovered from elevated levels of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV). Blood tests have determined that Zuberi no longer has elevated levels of EEHV. Zuberi will still receive medication for secondary effects of the virus. ---------------------------------------- June 11, 2020 The Sedgwick County Zoo said Thursday Zuberi, a 12-year-old female African elephant, has begun treatment for elevated levels of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV). EEHV is one of the most deadly viruses for elephants worldwide, both in the wild and in human care, according to the zoo. There is no vaccine for EEHV, nor is it preventable. "The virus cannot be transmitted to humans or other animal species," said SCZ. EEHV is a threat that every zoo with both Asian and African elephants contends with today." The zoo tests its elephants for weekly because traces of EEHV is in their blood at all times, but an increase in viral load requires immediate and aggressive treatment. Zuberi will receive round-the-clock treatment, which includes anti-viral medications, rectal fluids, and daily blood counts to monitor her response. Additional treatments may include blood and plasma transfusions and other supportive care as needed. The zoo said Zuberi is not showing any symptoms of illness and the animal care team is optimistic that the virus was caught early enough that she will recover quickly. The zoo will provide updates on Facebook as treatment progresses.