Concern after high percentage of deer found with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies

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The discovery that an estimated 40 percent of white-tailed deer, in four states, possess SARS-CoV-2 antibodies has experts worried. The study reveals that a large number of deer have been exposed to the deadly virus and there is concern that this could potentially lead to more human infections.

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) took samples from 624 deer in Illinois, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania, and learned the 40 percent of the animals were positive for the Covid-19 antibodies. A positive result was also discovered from a 2019 sample, as well as in three samples from 2020. An email from the center addresses the positive result from 2019.

“Of the 143 samples collected prior to January 2020, only one contained antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. The single sample was at the minimum threshold of detection and was likely a false positive. This low-level detection is well within the expected false positive rate of the test used.”

Now experts are concerned that deer might possibly become a source of new SARS-CoV-2 variants which could infect the human population in the future. Researchers are working on determining how the deer were exposed, and if they could possibly transmit the virus to other animals.

(Image via Pixabay free images)

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1 reply
  1. Bunny Peters says:

    This development is VERY scary!!! How were the deer exposed?

    Was it from sneaking foods out of human campsites?

    Was it drinking from contaminated waterways?

    (I am thinking of defective sewer systems draining untreated sewage containing Covid into lakes and park waterways).

    Reply

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