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Covid-19: Should we be worried about the virus spreading in white-tailed deer?

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Studies in the US have revealed a “silent epidemic” of human coronavirus in wild white-tailed deer and it could be circulating in other wild animals in other parts of the world



Health


| Analysis

11 November 2021

A white-tailed deer in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee

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Daniel Dempster Photography/Alamy

Recent studies suggest SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19, is rife among the 30 million white-tailed deer in North America. This means there is a risk of deer infecting other animals, and also of new variants emerging in animals and jumping back to people. So what does this mean for the pandemic and how concerned should we be?

It has long been clear that people with SARS-CoV-2 are occasionally infecting pets, farm and zoo animals. Until now, however, it …

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