Researchers find virus that causes COVID-19 in Sask. deer – CBC

Virus found in four white-tailed deer, University of Saskatchewan says

Mar 30, 2022

Researchers have found proof that SARS-CoV-2 is circulating among wild white-tailed deer in the province.

Deer in Ohio and other Canadian provinces have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, but these are the first detections among Saskatchewan deer.

“It’s not too surprising,” said Emily Jenkins, a professor in the department of Veterinary Microbiology at the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

“But it is somewhat concerning because it does suggest that there is spillover from humans into wildlife. And the big concern there is that the wildlife are able to self-perpetuate it.”

The team investigating wildlife consists of members from the University of Saskatchewan, Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment and the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative.

The National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease confirmed the results after the team found positive results in viral RNA swabs of four deer harvested by hunters last year, according to a release from the University of Saskatchewan.

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