NewsA third of white-tailed deer tested in a survey...

A third of white-tailed deer tested in a survey were exposed to the coronavirus.

-

[ad_1]

A third of the white-tailed deer tested in four states during a federal study had been exposed to the coronavirus, in yet another indication of the unpredictable nature of the disease. The percentage was highest in Michigan, where 60 percent of the animals tested positive.

The presence of the virus in wild deer is not just a curiosity for scientists. The virus has shown it can jump from one species to another, and in the worse case, it could become established in a common animal species, creating a reservoir from which the virus could spill back into humans.

“It’s not just a warning about deer,” said Tony Goldberg, a veterinarian at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who has been surveying North American bats for evidence of infections with the coronavirus.

The deer could have encountered the virus through contact or proximity to other animals or humans. Exposure is not the same as infection; the blood tests detected antibodies, which could indicate that the deer fought off infection.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service conducted the survey because deer have been shown to be susceptible to infection and are often in contact with people. Researchers tested blood samples from deer in Illinois, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania in 2020 and 2021. The findings have not yet been published in a scientific journal.

See also  All Washington D.C. public employees will face a vaccine or testing requirement.

Researchers have experimentally infected ferrets, primates and other animals with the coronavirus in the laboratory, and dogs, domestic cats, gorillas and other animals in zoos.

Farmed mink caught the virus naturally from humans. The virus mutated and spread back to humans in a few cases. Farmed mink are now being vaccinated with an experimental vaccine, as are zoo animals.

See also  ‘There’s So Much More to Afghanistan’: Khaled Hosseini Reflects on His Birthplace

North American bat species, Dr. Goldberg said, showed no evidence of infection so far. They are significantly different from the Asian bat species that are suspected to be the original hosts of the virus.

Dr. Goldberg said it was difficult to know what close contact with people meant for deer. The animals are often in yards and gardens, but, he joked, not often invited to dinner parties. People could conceivably sneeze on a leaf or into the air with deer nearby, he said, scenarios that seemed “plausible but not likely.”

He added that if one deer became infected, however, it might well infect or expose other deer to the virus. Sewage also can contain the coronavirus.

The survey clearly set off an alarm worth paying attention to. “Please add this finding as reason no. 2,784 to get vaccinated,” Dr. Goldberg said.

[ad_2]

Latest news

How to write an essay on religion

First, what is a religious essay? Religion is both interesting and thought-provoking. It has existed since the beginning of human...

How to Be a Better Christian: 5 Important Tips

As a Christian, you believe in all the goodness that God has brought into your life, but it can...

How to Save Money With Your Family

Saving money is never easy, and saving money as a family can be even more difficult. If you’re interested...

Watch livescore football and become a professional in your favorite game

A new season in the Spanish championship has started. Now, you can follow all the competitions from the world...

Your Thursday Briefing

We’re covering the Taliban’s violent response to protesters and Israel’s Covid surge despite high vaccination rates.The Taliban met...

Garth Brooks cancels tour dates due to Delta variant

The country superstar on Wednesday said he's canceling the next five stops on his tour, the last of...

Must read

How to write an essay on religion

First, what is a religious essay? Religion is both interesting...

How to Be a Better Christian: 5 Important Tips

As a Christian, you believe in all the goodness...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you