Ohio deer test positive for virus that causes COVID-19

(David Kenyon | Michigan DNR)
Published: Aug. 28, 2021 at 6:01 PM EDT
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Ohio (WOIO) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Saturday that wild white-tailed deer in Ohio have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

There have been no reports of deer showing clinical signs of infection, the USDA added in a media release.

Researchers with Ohio State University collected samples between January and March while studying deer damage, the release said.

The positive tests were not a complete surprise. Earlier studies have found that deer can be experimentally infected and that some wild deer had antibodies to the virus.

A small number of animal species across the globe have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Most of those were in animals that were in close contact with a person with COVID-19.

The USDA announces cases of confirmed infection in animals each time the virus is found in a new species.

People can spread the virus to animals, the department of agriculture said. People with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should avoid contact with pets and other animals to protect them.

The USDA and other organizations have published information on who to prevent the spread of COVID-19 between people and wildlife, recommendations for pet owners and people who work with animals, and how and when to test animals for the virus.

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