This state has seen COVID-19 spread to deer. This could lead to a ‘dangerous’ mutation, experts say
Researchers found COVID-19 isn’t staying in humans. It might be hitting other populations
Researchers at Iowa State University found about 80% of deer in a sample tested positive for COVID-19, per KCCI-TV. They originally noticed COVID-19 antibodies in deer, which led them to do more research.
- In fact, Harms said it’s safe for hunters — who are kicking off deer hunting season — to harvest and eat deer that might have COVID-19.
- “There shouldn’t be any risk of contracting the virus from consuming meat that’s infected as long as it’s cooked to an appropriate temperature,” Harms said.
- However, hunters may want to take extra precaution by wearing masks and gloves.
But other experts remain less sure about what this means for the human population. Per Business Insider, allowing the coronavirus to pass through animal populations would leave the virus unchecked. This could lead to a dangerous mutation in the virus that would then come back to the human population.
Tony Goldberg, a veterinarian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told The New York Times that it would be “very rare and unlucky” if COVID-19 passes between deer and humans.
- But, he said, it would be a “game changer.”