Covid is rampant among deer, research shows

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  3 weeks ago  •  42 comments

By:   Evan Bush

Covid is rampant among deer, research shows
Humans have infected wild deer with Covid-19 in a handful of states, and there's evidence that the coronavirus has been spreading among deer, according to

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Humans have infected wild deer with Covid-19 in a handful of states, and there's evidence that the coronavirus has been spreading among deer, according to recent studies, which outline findings that could complicate the path out of the pandemic.

Scientists swabbed the nostrils of white-tailed deer in Ohio and found evidence of at least six separate times that humans had spread the coronavirus to deer, according to a study published last month in Nature.

About one-third of the deer sampled had active or recent infections, the study says. Similar research in Iowa of tissue from roadkill and hunted deer found widespread evidence of the virus.

The research suggests that the coronavirus could be taking hold in a free-ranging species that numbers about 30 million in the U.S. No cases of Covid spread from deer to human have been reported, but it's possible, scientists say.

It's a reminder that human health is intertwined with that of animals and that inattention to other species could prolong the pandemic and complicate the quest to control Covid.

Widespread, sustained circulation of the virus in deer could represent a risk to people if mutations in deer create a new variant. A population of wild animals harboring the virus could also retain variants that are no longer circulating among humans now and allow them to return later.

"The sheer possibility that these things are happening and it's unknown makes this very unsettling," said Suresh Kuchipudi, a virologist at Pennsylvania State University. "We could be caught by surprise with a completely different variant."

Early in the pandemic, scientists grew concerned that the virus could jump from humans to other animals. One study found many mammals with receptors that could allow the virus to bind in their cells, with deer among those at high risk.

They began to investigate.

First, in a laboratory study, researchers spritzed four fawns' noses with infectious coronavirus to test whether the virus could infect them. They also took two uninfected deer into the same room, keeping them separated with a plexiglass barrier that didn't reach the ceiling.

"We had four inoculated animals and two contact animals. Everybody got infected and shed significant amounts of infectious virus. That was a surprise," said Diego Diel, an associate professor of virology at Cornell University, who helped lead the research.

The deer most likely shared the virus through nasal secretions that traveled over the barrier by air, he said. The infected deer didn't exhibit noticeable symptoms.

Deer often travel in herds and touch noses, making transmission a concern.

So federal scientists tested blood samples of wild deer in Illinois, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania. They eventually tested 624 samples, finding that about 40 percent of samples that were collected last year had antibodies that suggested past infection.

The latest studies provide evidence of active and recent infection.

In the peer-reviewed Ohio State University study, 35.8 percent of 360 free-ranging deer tested positive through nasal swabs. The researchers were able to culture the virus for two samples, meaning they could grow live virus.

And after they reviewed genetic relationships among viruses from 14 deer, "we've got evidence we have deer-to-deer transmission occurring," said an author of the study, Andrew Bowman, an associate professor of veterinary preventive medicine at Ohio State University. The researchers found six mutations in deer that are uncommon in people.

A preprint study led by Kuchipudi of Penn State found the coronavirus in lymph nodes of 94 of 283 deer that were hunted or killed by vehicles in Iowa in 2020.

Both studies suggest that the virus spilled over from humans to deer several times in several places. The common viral genomes circulating in humans at the time were also circulating in deer, the studies say.

Researchers can't say for sure how the deer are becoming infected or whether the virus will persist in the species. Deer — ubiquitous in many U.S. communities — are among the most abundant large mammals in the country.

"If they're maintaining the virus, that's a whole other host we need to be looking at for future variants to assess whether current vaccines will be affected and how we need to control spread," Bowman said. "It complicates things considerably."

If the virus does establish itself long term, scientists say, it presents several potential risks.

Circulation in deer could allow variants that are no longer infecting humans — like the alpha variant, for example — to continue cycling in animals. That would give those strains the potential to reintroduce themselves to people, Kuchipudi said.

In another scenario, widespread transmission could allow the virus to accumulate mutations in deer and evolve differently before it spreads into people with new characteristics.

That's what happened on Dutch mink farms in 2020. After the virus spread from people to mink, it returned with new mutations to infect humans.

The mink variant shows "spillback is possible," Diel said.

If deer are hosts to the coronavirus, they could also pass it to other animals.

"Whenever the virus jumps into a different species, that could lead to adaptation," Kuchipudi said.

And in a scenario some scientists view as unlikely, the virus could recombine with other coronaviruses already established in deer to create a hybrid virus.

"There are endemic coronaviruses in animals, some we know and many we don't know," Kuchipudi said. "Recombination could give rise to a completely different variant that can be very different from the parent virus, and it could have altered abilities."

These are long-term concerns if deer are, in fact, a permanent host. So far, researchers haven't found the virus moving from deer to people or discovered a new variant in deer alone.

"The greatest risk to people still remains transmission of the virus from person to person," said Tom DeLiberto, the assistant director of the National Wildlife Research Center, who is helping lead federal efforts to identify the coronavirus in wildlife. "Could that change later on? Absolutely, and that's why we're doing these things to get a handle on what's happening to deer."

The American Rescue Plan Act provided $6 million for researchers to study the coronavirus in white-tailed deer. DeLiberto said researchers are searching for the virus among deer in 30 states.

Separately, scientists are collecting blood samples from other animals, such as coyotes, skunks and raccoons, to see whether any of them have antibodies.

"If we let the virus continue to circulate among humans, we are not only endangering the vulnerable sector of our population, but we could also be putting our animals and environment at danger," Kuchipudi said.


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al Jizzerror
Sophomore Expert
1  al Jizzerror    3 weeks ago

Oh deer.

I'm glad I quit humping deer in 2019.

512

Deer are stupid so they won't wear face masks.  

It appears that lots of random mammals can get infected with COVID.

That gives COVID lots opportunities to mutate into new variants.

Male Trumpanzees have a high rate of infection because almost 65% of them are anti-vaxxers.

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
2  shona1    3 weeks ago

Evening...

Pity it does not infect rabbits..

Would be a dream come true here..

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
2.1  devangelical  replied to  shona1 @2    3 weeks ago

crap. I was hoping for a hilarious oz slang term for rabbits...

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
2.1.1  shona1  replied to  devangelical @2.1    3 weeks ago

Morning...hmm nope nothing springs to mind for bunnies I am afraid..

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
2.1.2  devangelical  replied to  shona1 @2.1.1    3 weeks ago

evening... I can accept bunnies as the term.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
2.2  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  shona1 @2    3 weeks ago

I was unaware that you were still having rabbit issues. I would have thought the dingo population would have done them in. 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.2.1  Kavika   replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @2.2    3 weeks ago
I would have thought the dingo population would have done them in. 

Rabbits do reproduce well, like rabbits. 

This will give you an idea of the problem they are in OZ.

Fox are another invasive species that have destroyed many of the marsupials in OZ.t

Both rabbits and fox were introduced by the Europeans which of course was not only stupid but has resulted in huge loss of both flora and fauna in OZ.

The Europeans were not the only moosh nooshes. The Australians introduced the Cane toad to eat beetles that were attacking the sugar cane crops. Well the toads didn't eat the beetles but they eat everything else and there are no predators of the toads in Australia so they now number in the hundreds of millions and causing more damage to Australia.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
2.2.2  Split Personality  replied to  Kavika @2.2.1    3 weeks ago

White people, jrSmiley_78_smiley_image.gifjrSmiley_78_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
2.2.3  shona1  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @2.2    3 weeks ago

Anoon..no the dingoes would not have a hope...the rabbits out number them and anything else..

Rabbits are a plague and have caused untold damage..

My brother shoots them etc but does not put a dent in the population...

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
2.2.4  shona1  replied to  Split Personality @2.2.2    3 weeks ago

Anoon split..and stupid people...

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
2.2.5  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  shona1 @2.2.3    3 weeks ago

The reason I say this is because in England the fox population keeps the rodents down. I am just surprised that the dingo population didn't keep pace with the rabbits. 

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
2.2.6  shona1  replied to  Kavika @2.2.1    3 weeks ago

Anoon Kavika..yep the Brits were flat out like a lizard drinking to convert Australia to be more like mother England..

Yep copped rabbits foxes sparrows starlings camels deer blackbirds bracken and anything else they dragged over here...

Guess they didn't know any better then, but we are paying for it now..

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
2.2.7  shona1  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @2.2.5    3 weeks ago

Anoon Perrie.. dingoes live mainly in the Outback...few rabbits live there...

Rabbits were released along the coast hence no predators.. excellent living conditions and rabbits do what rabbits do best...bonk their brains out..

They have released a virus and genetic mozzies to bump them off but....I will have my money on the bunny...

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
2.2.8  shona1  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @2.2.5    3 weeks ago

Foxes here kill sheep ducks chooks all marsupials birds and anything else they can get their jaws on...one fox can kill 100 sheep in a night. They do it for fun, with lambs they eat their tongues while still alive...

They hold fox drives here to hunt them out and shoot them when they break cover...

My brother shoots them as well..get $10 for a fox scalp off the government... hundreds of thousands have been shot makes little difference to the numbers...

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.2.9  Kavika   replied to  shona1 @2.2.8    3 weeks ago

Sadly the US is plagued with invasive species introduced by stupid ass humans. Florida is overrun with them and the python in the Everglades is causing untold damage.

Recently a 16 foot long python was killed in the Everglades and it had a 76 pound deer in its stomach. There are tens of thousands of python in the 'Glades.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.2.10  Kavika   replied to  shona1 @2.2.7    3 weeks ago

The first time they tried the virus it worked for a while but the rabbits developed anti-bodies and became immune to it.

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
2.2.11  cjcold  replied to  shona1 @2.2.7    3 weeks ago

Issue a pellet rifle and a weekly quota to every citizen above the age of 10.

Institute contests for the most effective traps.

Start eating the damn things and make blankets and clothing out of them.

Couldn't they become a major export item? 

Just spit-balling here.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.2.12  Trout Giggles  replied to  cjcold @2.2.11    3 weeks ago

Fried rabbit is really tasty. I'll move to Australia if you give me a pellet gun. I need to figure out to work mine so I can ping raccoons

 
 
 
al Jizzerror
Sophomore Expert
2.2.13  al Jizzerror  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.2.12    3 weeks ago

The only fried rabbits I've eaten were bred in cages and fed fresh veggies (along with Purina rabbit food).  This is a cliche, butt it really did "taste like chicken".

I love corn fed beef.  The beef from grass fed cattle reminds me of venison.  It's too "gamey".

Are "free-range" rabbits "gamey"? 

512

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
2.2.14  shona1  replied to  cjcold @2.2.11    3 weeks ago

Morning CJ..done and do...Akubra hats are made from rabbit fur...yes we eat them.. During the depression that is what saved many families as it was free meat.

They poison them, rip up the warrens, trap them which is now banned and we use to go ferreting..there are millions and millions of them. See them on the sides of the roads chewing away.

They arent so much in plague proportions now but certainly an ever on going problem.

And then there are the Greens trying to stop all forms of rabbiting... because they are cute!!!..and guess where those rabbits (idiots) live..in the city...

If you refer to someone here as a rabbit..means idiot, drop kick or talks a load of crap..eg he was rabbiting on about nothing..

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
2.2.15  shona1  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.2.12    3 weeks ago

Morning trout..ahhh no not raccoons..love them...are they a pest??

Pellet gun would be useless here, we breed them tough.. nothing less than a .22 upwards and the rabbits are getting smarter.

My brother has a high powered rifle with scope camoflauge gear and usually bags some. Gives some to the farmer for his dogs and brings some home to eat..

He also shoots any foxes and feral cats if he sees them out in the paddocks. Plus have to be very aware of snakes...rabbit country is good snake country and they are the deadly ones..well pretty well all our snakes are deadly actually. On average he runs into two or three and leaves them be. Snakes eat baby rabbits...

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.2.16  Trout Giggles  replied to  shona1 @2.2.15    3 weeks ago

Raccoons are definitely a nuisance...to me. They tear up my bird feeders and eat any food I put out for stray cats. I had a lovely bird feeder my son and daughter-in-law gave me for Xmas a few years ago. It was one of those types that plaster to a window with suction cups. They climbed on top of Saint Francis and tore it apart. I thought I had it high enough but apparently not.

I don't want to kill them just scare them off. A couple of hits from a beebee gun should do it

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
2.2.17  shona1  replied to  al Jizzerror @2.2.13    3 weeks ago

Morning...wild rabbit tastes superior to breed rabbits for the plate ..

Breed rabbits flesh is quite white and tastes rather bland.

Wild rabbit is pink and lean... lovely fried, stewed or made into soup..

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
2.2.18  shona1  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.2.16    3 weeks ago

Oh that's a good idea to scare them off...sound abit like our possums. Some fireworks might do the trick as well if you had them..

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  shona1 @2    3 weeks ago

I thought some rabbit plague had taken care of that problem for you all a long time ago?

 
 
 
al Jizzerror
Sophomore Expert
2.3.1  al Jizzerror  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.3    3 weeks ago

Maybe they should hand out free rabbit condoms....

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
Professor Expert
3  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom    3 weeks ago

I don't think this virus is going to be happy until every living thing on the planet is adversely affected.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
3.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @3    3 weeks ago

True enough. Worrisome, too. Never a good thing when a virus jumps species.

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
3.1.1  cjcold  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3.1    3 weeks ago
when a virus jumps species

Seems that's how it got to homo sapiens in the first place.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
3.1.2  Greg Jones  replied to  cjcold @3.1.1    3 weeks ago

cjcold wrote: "Seems that's how it got to homo sapiens in the first place"

By what source or animal in Wuhan?

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4  Kavika     3 weeks ago

It's not bad enough that deer are dying from Chronic wasting disease now we have added COVID to the mix.

 
 
 
Kathleen
Professor Principal
5  Kathleen    3 weeks ago

That is a shame, I happen to like deer's.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Professor Guide
6  Paula Bartholomew    3 weeks ago

Can the virus be passed to humans if they consume the meat from an infected animal like it can with anthrax?

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
6.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @6    3 weeks ago

Not to my knowledge. This is considered a respiratory virus. Anthrax can infect by many means and one of them is gastrointestinal, so that is why eating it gets it into your system. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
7  Tacos!    3 weeks ago

This is because so many deer are anti-vaxxers or they refuse to mask up and social distance. Not like this good boy:

original

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
7.1  Split Personality  replied to  Tacos! @7    3 weeks ago

The fish style mask might look bettah !!! jrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Principal
9  Krishna    3 weeks ago

Given that the latest strain of Covid is not especially deadly...and that the vaccines give good protection against previous strains, IMO the fact that Deer may be infected with Covid isn't particularly worrisome.

But Deer do present a serious health risk. They have Ticks many of which carry Lyme disease. And if that's  not treated soon after infection that can be really serious.

 
 
 
Steve Ott
Professor Quiet
10  Steve Ott    3 weeks ago

And once again we see the connectedness of all things.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Principal
10.1  Krishna  replied to  Steve Ott @10    3 weeks ago

Yep. Looks like it's yet just another case of "Deja Vu All Over Again"!

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
10.1.1  cjcold  replied to  Krishna @10.1    3 weeks ago

It ain't over til it's over.

Ya gotta love Yogi-isms!

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
11  Ozzwald    3 weeks ago

So now 2 additional species are in danger of COVID?

Deer

white-tailed-deer-1-ac07593f0b38e66ffac9178fb0c787ca75baea3d.jpg

AND sheep?

Reopen%20Texas%20Protest%20JV%20TT%2005.jpg

 
 
 
al Jizzerror
Sophomore Expert
11.1  al Jizzerror  replied to  Ozzwald @11    3 weeks ago

jrSmiley_28_smiley_image.gif

 
 

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