General Guidance for Communicating about SARS-CoV-2 in Wildlife
As SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans, continues to spread globally, questions have emerged about the potential for humans to transmit the virus to North American wildlife, its potential impacts on native wildlife populations, and the resultant possibility and consequences of establishing a persistent wildlife reservoir. Currently, there is no evidence that wildlife are a source of infection for people in the United States. However, based on the evolving situation, we are concerned with the potential impacts inadvertent negative messaging may have on wildlife conservation efforts, particularly when the pathogen of interest affects humans (see MacFarlane and Rocha 2020). Therefore, we have compiled some general guidance for partners seeking assistance with balancing messages about risk of pathogen transmission from wildlife with messages about continued wildlife conservation efforts to protect species and ecosystem functions.