Friday, May 20, 2022
Home Covid-19 Omicron infection in U.S. deer raises concern about new COVID-19 variants

Omicron infection in U.S. deer raises concern about new COVID-19 variants

The discovery of the Omicron variant in white-tailed deer in New York has raised concerns that the species, numbering 30 million in the United States, could become hosts of a new coronavirus strain, a lead researcher said on Tuesday.

Blood and some nasal swab samples from 131 deer captured on New York’s Staten Island revealed that nearly 15% had virus antibodies. The finding suggested that the animals had previous coronavirus infections and were vulnerable to repeated reinfections with new variants, researchers led by Pennsylvania State University scientists said.

Read more:

U.S. deer are catching COVID-19. What that means for our fight against the virus

“Circulation of the virus in an animal population always raises the possibility of getting back to humans, but more importantly it provides more opportunities for the virus to evolve into novel variants,” said Suresh Kuchipudi, a Penn State veterinary microbiologist.

Story continues below advertisement

“When the virus completely mutates, then it can escape the protection of the current vaccine. So we’d have to change the vaccine again,” Kuchipudi said.








Longueuil, Que., open to discussion with animal rescue groups over deer culling plan


Longueuil, Que., open to discussion with animal rescue groups over deer culling plan – Jan 9, 2022

The discovery – the first time Omicron was detected in a wild animal – comes as a surge in COVID-19 infections fueled by the variant are abating among the U.S. human population.

While there is no evidence that animals are transmitting the virus to humans, most coronavirus infections were reported in species that had close contact with a person with COVID-19, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Read more:

COVID-19 virus detected in five Ontario deer: officials

In August, the U.S. government said it found the world’s first cases of COVID-19 in wild deer in Ohio, expanding the list of animals known to have tested positive for the disease.

Story continues below advertisement

The finding was based on samples collected from deer months before the heavily mutated variant Omicron emerged to replace the previously dominant Delta variant in people in countries around the world.

The USDA had previously reported COVID-19 in animals including dogs, cats, tigers, lions, snow leopards, otters, gorillas and minks.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by David Gregorio)

© 2022 Reuters

Most Popular

Region had sharp rise in opioid-related deaths, hospital visits during pandemic: MLHU

New findings from the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) show the region had a sharp rise in deaths and hospital visits related to opioid use...

CFL and CFL Players’ Association reach tentative collective agreement

CFL and CFL Players’ Association have reached a tentative bargaining agreement Wednesday night, ending the second strike in league history. Details of the agreement are...

Spirits high in Lethbridge as Battle of Alberta kicks off

For more than three decades, the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers have avoided their provincial neighbours in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Now, the two teams’...

Kenney’s plan to step down as UCP leader shows how hard merging 2 parties is: political commentator

The difficulty that can result from merging two political parties was underscored by Premier Jason Kenney’s announcement Wednesday that he intends to step down...