COVID-19 Antibodies are found in 40% of the U.S. Wild Deer Population

Based on a recent antibody study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS), 40% of white-tailed deer living in the wild in the northeastern U.S. appear to be exposed to the coronavirus that causes COVID -19.
Fortunately, there do not seem to be any infected deer. However, this is worrisome as this is the first indication of widespread SARS-CoV-2 exposure in wild animals. This possibility is also due to human -to -animal transmission.

In addition, the data raises concerns about other animals that could act as reservoirs for SARS-CoV-2 and may introduce the virus to humans at any time and cause outbreaks in the future.

In this study, 624 serum samples were obtained from wild deer in Illinois, New York, Michigan, and Pennsylvania before and after COVID-19. Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were found in 152 (40%) samples taken in 2021. This indicates that wild deer have been infected with the virus.

Deer samples positive for COVID-19, as quoted from Nature World News, were found in 67% of Michigan samples, 31% of New York samples, 44% of Pennsylvania samples, and 7% of Illinois samples.

Deer samples were positive for COVID-19

The researchers also found three positive samples from January 2020, which is relatively early in the outbreak. Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were found in about a third of samples from 2020 and 2021.

A positive sample from 2019 was also found. There is currently no clear evidence that the virus was present in the United States at the time, and this sample may have been a false positive result.

Researchers say all of these findings need to be confirmed. But apparently, a large number of wild deer are infected with SARS-CoV-2. Even if several false positive results go into this finding, the likelihood of more than 150 errors seems very small.

"The findings showing that wild white-tailed deer have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 are not surprising, given that white-tailed deer are susceptible to the virus, many in the United States, and often make close contact with humans. The CDC estimates that more than 114 million Americans have infected with SARS-CoV-2, "USDA-APHIS said in a statement.

Natural infection

It remains unclear how this exposure occurred. According to research, people can directly spread the virus to deer through photo shoots, field research, conservation work, wildlife tourism, and others.

On the other hand, contaminated water sources may also be a route of virus transmission. SARS-CoV-2 can infect a variety of animals, not just deer. COVID-19 infection in a variety of animals has also been documented, including dogs, cats, tigers, gorillas and stoats.

Outbreaks on farms and pets have posed some problems, although outbreaks can be controlled through vaccination and extermination. Handling wild animals such as deer, is much more difficult.

Although transmission from deer to humans seems unlikely, as is the case with pets and other domestic animals, it is possible that animals secretly carry the virus and cause COVID-19 outbreaks in the future. Therefore, for now, additional studies are needed before anything can be confirmed.

"Animals do not appear to play a significant role in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to humans. The likelihood of transmitting COVID-19 to humans through animals, such as deer, is very small," the USDA concluded.
COVID-19 Antibodies are found in 40% of the U.S. Wild Deer Population COVID-19 Antibodies are found in 40% of the U.S. Wild Deer Population Reviewed by thecekodok on 9:05:00 PM Rating: 5
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