Scientists have detected COVID-19 in whitetail deer in at least six different places in Ohio. According to researchers at the Ohio State University, the deer tested were infected by at least three virus variants. Scientists are unsure if wild deer could be a new potential source of COVID-19 transmission to humans.
The need to track what’s in people and deer could complicate future mitigation and control plans for the virus. The locations where the infected deer were found are all in Northeastern Ohio.Andrew Bowman, associate professor of veterinary preventive medicine at The Ohio State University and senior author of the paper, said that the fact that wild deer can become infected “leads toward the idea that we might have established a new maintenance host outside humans.
Three deaths linked to Listeria outbreaks from packaged salads. The research team took nasal swabs from 360 white-tailed deer in nine northeast Ohio locations. Using PCR testing methods, the scientists detected genetic material from at least three different virus strains in 129 (35.8%) of the deer sampled. The research team did not list the locations of the infected deer.