Covid-19 evolves rapidly in white-tailed deer

Source: VIDEOELEPHANT (Glomex)

While coronavirus remains persistent, the virus appears to have spread from humans to white-tailed deer, where it is evolving rapidly. In a new study, researchers looked for SARS-CoV-2 infections by swabbing noses of free-ranging deer across Ohio. Using nasal swabs, 1,522 deer in 83 counties were tested, and 10 percent of the deer were found to test positive. The researchers also collected blood samples and estimated that nearly 24 percent of the deer were infected with SARS-CoV-2. "We generally talk about interspecies transmission happening very rarely, but this was not a large sample, and we can document 30 spillover effects. The virus seems to transmit quite easily between humans and animals," said Andrew Bowman of Ohio State University. The virus also evolves more rapidly in deer, meaning it could evolve and return to us, but the vaccine is thought to offer protection. Although there is no danger to us, this new finding could pose a risk to wildlife and pets.


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