Positive Test Results for Coronavirus Are Showing Up in Pennsylvania’s Deer Population
In a recent federal study 44 percent of Pennsylvania deer tested positive for coronavirus, writes Justin Heinze for MSN.
Researchers are puzzled how the deer showed up with the coronavirus antibodies. The deer came from central and southeastern Pennsylvania.
The risk of deer spreading it to humans is low, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
None of the 142 deer in the study were ill from the virus. The USDA conducted its study between January 2020 and March 2021.
“At present, there’s no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is having any detrimental effect on deer. And for humans, our infinitely greater problem is spread from other humans,” said Daniel Bausch, a zoonotic diseases expert.
The Center for Disease Control urges deer hunters to wear gloves when handling the animals and to thoroughly cook the meat.
It’s unclear how the virus made it into the deer population.
Deer do come into contact with people through hunting, field and conservation work, wildlife tourism and rehabilitation, and supplemental feeding. They could also contract the virus from contaminated wastewater or exposure to other infected species.
If it can be transmitted from animal to animal, that could lead to domestic livestock becoming infected.
Read more at MSN about this USDA deer study.
Here’s a news report on the USDA deer study.
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