Deer Can Spread COVID-19

Deer Can Spread COVID-19

( – Since scientists first discovered COVID-19 in humans, they guessed it was only a matter of time before it spread to animals. In 2020, there were various instances where zoo animals contracted the virus, and now it seems to have spread to wild animals. A new study just found whitetail deer can spread COVID-19 quickly amongst their herd.

Scientists began sampling deer in Iowa in September 2020 and continued through January 2021. They found that one-third of the deer sampled, either captive or free-ranging samples taken from roadkill and hunters, tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies. This means the deer very likely caught COVID-19 at some point from a human, probably while in captivity or close contact, and spread it to others.

New York Times columnist Carl Zimmer shared more about the new research:

Denmark health officials also found that minks, which are popular animals to farm, can spread the virus back to humans. If this becomes the case with other wild animals in the US, that could likely lead to more genetic mutations and variations transmitting back to humans down the road. However, one veterinarian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison said such transmission is “very rare,” giving Americans hope the coronavirus pandemic will soon end.

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