Wild white-tailed deer in the United States are infected with COVID, and it can come from contaminated water

While the U.S. government is working to stop the spread of coronavirus between humans, wildlife officials are working to understand how the virus infects wild white-tailed deer.

Although experts have not confirmed how these wild animals get COVID, the leading hypothesis is that deer drink contaminated water – research shows that the virus dwells in human feces and wastewater.

Hundreds of animals have been tested positive in Illinois, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Ohio, and researchers fear that the entire U.S. population of about 30 million could soon be infected.

Penn State University found that more than 80 percent of the white-tailed deer sampled in different parts of Iowa between December 2020 and January 2021 were tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, while another study shows that 67 percent of those sampled in Michigan have evidence of viruses.

The results highlight, according to experts, the “critical need to immediately implement monitoring programs to monitor SARS-CoV-2 spread within deer and other susceptible animal species and introduce methods to mitigate potential spills.”

Scroll down for video

Although experts have not confirmed how these wild animals get COVID, the leading hypothesis is that deer drink contaminated water - research shows that the virus dwells in human feces and wastewater

Although experts have not confirmed how these wild animals get COVID, the leading hypothesis is that deer drink contaminated water – research shows that the virus dwells in human feces and wastewater

It is known that animals can get coronavirus from humans, but most of the known cases are those that live in zoos where animals and humans are in constant close contact.

However, there have been no known cases of deer transmitting the virus to humans.

A November study from Penn State University examined nearly 300 specimens collected from deer across the state of Iowa during the peak of human COVID-19 infection by 2020.

Suresh Kuchipudi, associate director of the Animal Diagnostic Laboratory, Penn State, said in a statement: ‘We found that 80% of the deer tested in December were positive for SARS-CoV-2, which is proportionally about 50 times larger. burden of positivity than what was reported on top of infection in humans at the time.

A November study from Penn State University examined nearly 300 samples collected from deer across the state of Iowa during the peak of human COVID-19 infection by 2020

A November study from Penn State University examined nearly 300 samples collected from deer across the state of Iowa during the peak of human COVID-19 infection by 2020

Researchers at Ohio State University found that 129 (35 percent) of 360 free-ranging deer were tested positive through nasal swabs, but showed no symptoms.  From six of the sites, the researchers were able to identify three variants of SARS-CoV-2

Researchers at Ohio State University found that 129 (35 percent) of 360 free-ranging deer were tested positive through nasal swabs, but showed no symptoms. From six of the sites, the researchers were able to identify three variants of SARS-CoV-2

“The number of SARS-CoV-2 positive deer increased in the period from April to December 2020, with the largest increases coinciding with the peak of the deer hunting season last year.”

A separate study released earlier last month found similar results among white-tailed deer.

Conducted by researchers at Ohio State University, the team discovered that 129 (35 percent) of 360 free-ranging deer were tested positive through nose grafts, but showed no symptoms.

From six of the sites, the researchers were able to identify three variants of SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.2, B.1.582, and B.1.596).

SARS-CoV-2 can mutate as it passes between deer, potentially facilitating the transmission of new strains to humans and other species, although there is no evidence to suggest this yet.

Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 33 percent of the total samples, but 60 percent of deer sampled in Michigan were found to have been exposed.  Illinois had the lowest with only seven percent, then New York with 18 percent and Pennsylvania with 34 percent

Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 33 percent of the total samples, but 60 percent of deer sampled in Michigan were found to have been exposed. Illinois had the lowest with only seven percent, then New York with 18 percent and Pennsylvania with 34 percent

Worryingly, SARS-CoV-2 can also survive in deer unmutated, while at the same time continuing to develop in humans, and at a time when humans do not have immunity to the strains that infect deer, these variants can return to people.

Study author Professor Andrew Bowman at Ohio State University said in a statement: “Based on evidence from other studies, we knew that they were exposed in the wild and that we in the laboratory could infect them and that the virus could be transmitted from deer to deer.

“Here we say that in nature they are infected, and if they can sustain it, we have a new potential source of SARS-CoV-2 coming in to humans.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) conducted a major study in July 2021 that included several states: in Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 33 percent of the total samples, but 60 percent of deer sampled in Michigan were found to have been exposed.

Illinois had the lowest with only seven percent, then New York with 18 percent and Pennsylvania with 34 percent.

‚ÄúThere is no evidence that animals, including deer, play a significant role in the spread of SARS-CoV-2 to humans. Based on the information available, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to humans is low, ‘shared APHIS in a statement.

Although antibodies were detected, APHIS notes that “none of the deer populations studied showed evidence of clinical disease associated with SARS-CoV-2.”

APHIS, which confirmed that SARS-CoV-2 spread to wild mink last year, resulting in millions of these animals being killed worldwide – with Denmark alone exterminating 17 million.

SARS-CoV-2 spread to wild mink last year, resulting in millions of these animals being killed worldwide - with Denmark alone exterminating 17 million.

SARS-CoV-2 spread to wild mink last year, resulting in millions of these animals being killed worldwide – with Denmark alone exterminating 17 million.

This was because the researchers found that the mink variant could infect humans, while deer may only infect other wild animals.

In October 2020, 12 people reported being infected with a mutated version of the coronavirus that they caught from mink – leading to the giant eradication.

Shortly afterwards, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that five other countries had coronavirus cases linked to mink farms – the United States, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

When SARS-CoV-2 jumped from humans to mink on fur farms, its tip proteins – which allow the virus to invade cells – mutated to infect the animals more easily.

However, when the virus was transmitted back to humans, it carried this mutation, making COVID-19 antibodies less effective, according to scientists.

.

Give a Comment