Whitetail Deer with Covid

A Penn State study submitted for peer review found the SARS-CoV-2 virus present among deer in Iowa. Infections were the highest during periods of the greatest human-deer contact, when about 11,000 Iowa hunters were in the field from October – December 2020.

Complete 23-page November 1, 2021 report:

Multiple spillovers and onward transmission of SARS-Cov-2 in free-living and captive White-tailed deer (PDF)

“This is the first direct evidence of SARS-CoV-2 virus in any free-living species and highlights that many urgent steps are needed to monitor the spread of the virus in deer and prevent potential spillback to humans.”

PENN STATE / Iowa Department of Natural Resources Report

There is no evidence of deer spreading the virus to humans and the Game Commission said humans are not at risk of contracting the coronavirus from consuming venison. However, Dr. Kuchipudi of Penn State, said hunters should take “common sense” precautions including wearing a mask and gloves while handling deer, and having had all their Covid-19 vaccinations.

One of the concerns is that the virus could mutate in the animals and then re-enter the human population in an altered version.

“All of this is a striking example that we’re all in this pandemic together.”

Rachel Ruden – Iowa’s state wildlife veterinarian


What’s the Difference Between COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2? A Pandemic Glossary for Pet Families

Penn State Researcher Recommends Hunters Wear PPE During Close Contact With Deer, Get COVID Vaccine

2021 USDA Illinois, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania study (PDF)

Blog: O Deer!

Webpage: Deer Damage to Gardens, Trees and Shrubs

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