COVID cases in White-tailed Deer continue to pile up

Originally seen in Fish’n Canada’s Week in Review

Staying on theme, smallmouth bass are not the only ones catching diseases previously reserved for other animals – White-tailed Deer are catching them too.

As we reported back in September, COVID-19 was first discovered in wild deer populations in Ohio when road-killed carcasses began displaying antibodies. Shortly after that, wild deer throughout the US began testing positive as well.

This week, it has been deemed that over 40% of Deer tested in the states of New York, Michigan, and Pennsylvania between January and March 2021 were positive for the virus. In Idaho, the number was closer to 70%.

Though thankfully, the virus does not seem to be deadly, or even show any symptoms, in White-tailed Deer, the numbers do suggest that it is spreading rapidly. Human to deer transmission is thought to be the primary cause of the spread, as many of the deer populations in these states are found near residential areas and within frequently used parks. Contaminated water sources are also being examined as a culprit but, as of yet, no evidence supports the claim.

For the hunters out there, there is also currently no evidence that COVID can spread from deer back to humans, though researchers are keeping a close eye on it as it poses the potential for new variants.

This excerpt was taken from Fish’n Canada’s Week in Review, our weekly recap of all things relevant to the Canadian outdoorsman. For more stories like this, check out the full article below and tune back in every Friday to catch up on everything you missed!

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