White-Tailed Deer Populations Test Positive for COVID-19 Virus

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Scientists are keeping a careful eye on white-tailed deer populations across the United States, as multiple studies have shown the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, in deer populations.

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Studies of deer in Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and New York have confirmed past or present SARS-CoV-2 infection in the animals, causing concern in the scientific community about potential variants.  Genetic markers in the virus found indicate it spread to the deer from humans.  The study of deer in Iowa found the virus in about one in three animals tested.  No cases of deer-to- human transmission have been detected, and no deer-specific variant of the virus has been found.

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