COVID virus found in Canadian deer

White-tailed deer in Canada have been found to carry the virus that causes COVID-19. Credit: QUOI Media Group

After the virus that causes COVID-19 showed up among white-tailed deer in the United States, scientists have detected it among wild deer in Canada. Tests of hunter-harvested deer have shown the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in deer in Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan and of past exposure in other deer in Quebec. “These findings underscore the importance of ongoing surveillance of key wildlife species for SARS-CoV-2,” the authors of a study in preprint on bioRxiv concluded. The virus was first confirmed by the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease in three free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Quebec. Canadian officials say they plan to continue to look for indications of spillover of the virus between humans and wildlife.

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