USDA: COVID-19 positive deer found in Ohio, first of its kind worldwide

Coronavirus

A white-tailed deer buck

(WJW) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) announced today confirmation that COVID-positive wild white-tailed deer were found in Ohio.

In a press release, the department said these are the first deer confirmed with the virus worldwide.

Earlier studies have shown both that deer can be experimentally infected with the virus and that some wild deer had antibodies to the virus, according to the release.

The USDA says samples from the deer were collected between January and March 2021 by The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and there were no reports of any deer showing clinical signs of infection.

COVID infections have been reported in a small number of animal species worldwide, mostly in animals that had close contact with an infected person.

At this time, routine testing of animals is not recommended, according to the release.

USDA says it will announce cases of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 in animals each time the virus is found in a new species and you can find that here.

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