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Whitetail deer are Covid-19 vectors

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Hunters should take extra precautions, livestock could be vectors also

From Andrew Harris, 11/11/21

Whitetail deer are ubiquitous in Wellsville and many rural and suburban communities in Western New York. A recent study indicates that they could also be a host for the virus to continue to mutate and spread. Like rabies, certain animals are known to carry and transmit the disease to humans.

According to NPR, “A recent survey of white-tailed deer in the Northeast and Midwest found that 40% of them had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.”

This news comes as hunting season for the prolific ruminant is about to begin across the country. According to scientists, Covid-19 spreads “explosively” in the whitetail population.

While the data is currently only clear about the presence of Covid-19 in the deer population, scientists fear it will become a source of spread in the human population.

Even more worrisome is the possibility of deer passing the virus to livestock which come in much more frequent contact with humans.

So far the virus doesn’t seem to be making the deer sick, unlike another dangerous zoonotic disease, chronic wasting disease(CWD.) That disease kills deer and also seems to have the ability to be transmitted to humans, although no reports of CWD transmission to humans has been reported to date.

Read the full story here:

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2021/11/10/1054224204/how-sars-cov-2-in-american-deer-could-alter-the-course-of-the-global-pandemic

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