Sunday, April 14, 2024
Sunday, April 14, 2024
Sunday, April 14, 2024

COVID Spreads among Deer, Transmitting Mutated Strains to Humans

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In a recent study led by government researchers, it has been discovered that COVID-19 has spread extensively among the approximately 30 million deer population in the United States, Your Content has learned.

Disturbingly, some of these deer have passed mutated forms of the virus back to humans, posing what experts have described as a “unique public health risk.”

The study, published in the journal Nature on Tuesday, reveals that there were at least 109 separate instances of the virus spilling over from humans to deer, including cases in New York.

The virus underwent mutations while circulating among the deer population, resulting in a unique strain that has been detected in at least three cases transmitted back to humans.

Zoonotic disease expert Xiu-Feng Wan, one of the authors of the study, pointed out that deer frequently interact with humans and are commonly found in human habitats such as residential areas, near pets, wastewater facilities, and garbage.

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This close proximity between deer and humans increases the potential for zoonotic diseases like COVID-19 to persist and evolve within wildlife populations, thereby creating distinct public health risks.

The study specifically warns that the transmission of “deer-adapted strains back to humans” could undermine the effectiveness of pre-existing immunity acquired through previous infections or vaccinations.

Additionally, the research suggests that deer may continue to spread strains of the virus months after these lineages have declined in the human population, which poses an increased risk as immunity wanes.

The study, conducted by experts from the Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, identified two cases of deer-specific strains being transmitted to humans in North Carolina and another case in Massachusetts. However, further investigation is necessary to fully understand the mechanisms of transmission between humans and deer.

The report emphasizes that due to the high abundance of white-tailed deer in the US and their presence in rural, suburban, and urban environments, direct and indirect interactions between deer and humans are frequent.

The study suggests that deer may contract the virus from exposure to contaminated environments or through contact with infected objects like food and discarded masks.

It is also plausible that other animals such as foxes, skunks, or rats could have played a role in infecting deer.

The efficient spread of the virus among deer raises concerns that these mammals could serve as a reservoir for COVID-19, constantly posing a risk of zoonotic transmission back to humans, according to the researchers.

Further research is needed to comprehensively understand the dynamics of the virus transmission between humans and deer, and the study emphasizes the necessity of conducting additional investigations in this area, according to New York Post.

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