AMERICAN DEER NOW INCREASINGLY AND WIDELY INFECTED WITH COVID VIRUS IN THE WILD
So we already know that Covid can infect animals. From family dogs to varmints we farm for fur coats, primates and many many others. But now we’re adding another species to the list and it is disturbing. American deer. And yes, this is for real! Even more troubling is that Covid can spread thru deep populations fast and efficiently. Or, I should say, it already has! One estimate says that a third of all the deer in the state of Iowa already have Covid, in the form SARS-CoV-2. So while it’s not new news that Coronaviruses can infect a wide number of different species, this is likely bad news in several ways.
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WILL WIDE AND CONTINUING AMERICAN DEER COVID INFECTIONS MAKE THE PANDEMIC WORSE?
But usually, it’s humans who infect other animals, like the above mentioned common house pets, primates and weasels. It’s not clear yet how Covid spread to white-tailed deer in America. But we’re now hearing about it as a fait accompli. It’s done and it’s not gonna stop. So far, USDA scientists think that as many as 40% of all the deer in Michigan, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania already have antibodies to Covid. And this is really bad news, as the more species that carry a vicus like Covid, a wider range of mutations will occur. So think about a variant or variants that bounce back between humans and deer, changing our health risks and perpetuating the pandemic much, much longer.
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FOR VENISON FANS, AMERICAN DEER COVID REALITY MIGHT BE CAUSE FOR VEGANISM
We humans, of course, aren’t making this any easier either. The longer we have large portions of the population without vaccination, the longer the pandemic will last and the longer the virus will have to mutate into new and dangerous variants. And throwing American deer into the mix will only stir the biological pot, potentially into a wicked brew. So if you were thinking of eating venison this winter, maybe think again. And if you like it rare, maybe have some shrimp instead. But really, authorities and scientists don’t even know how to imagine far the negative implications that Covid infected American deer could really take us.
So buck up. It’s still crazy pandemic time.