Covid Found In Up To 40% Of US Deer Population
New evidence reveals that wildlife are a potential breeding ground for COVID-19. Scientists believe it could continue to evolve, despite control efforts in humans. God bless Bambi!
Between January and March of 2021, The US Department of Agriculture reported white tailed deer throughout the states of Michigan, Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania had Covid antibodies in up to 40% of the population.
The data was collected as part of the department's regular surveillance of whitetail deer,
the most widely distributed deer species in the US.
The US Department of Agriculture believes that because of the percentage of samples in this study, and the high numbers of whitetail deer throughout the US, it is likely that deer in other states have also been exposed to the virus.
Researchers told National Geographic that the deer outbreak could be thanks to humans, as multiple activities could bring deer into contact with people.
This is the first study to show that deer are passing COVID-19 to each other in the wild. Scientists have previously found the virus in a number of animals, including cats and dogs, lions, tigers, and gorillas, all of which happened while in captivity. Scientists worry that the wild animals could become a reservoir for the Covid virus, and potentially damage efforts to control the virus in humans.
The USDA said the risk of animals spreading the virus to people is considered low. The good news is no evidence that humans can be infected by eating the contaminated meat. That is great news for all of us who enjoy venison.
Respiratory transmission between human and animal remains a possibility, scientists say, but deer are obviously a lot easier to avoid than people. For humans, the problem remains the spread of Covid from other humans.
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