For the first time, Canadian deer infected with COVID-19 were discovered and reported by Ottawa on Wednesday, months after similar findings in the United States.
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The three infected deer found by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s National Center for Exotic Animal Diseases were all in Estri, the federal government said in a press release.
Environment and Climate Change Canada said samples were taken from three animals from November 6 to 8, but the virus was detected only on November 28.
“Since this is the first case of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a wildlife species in Canada, data on the impact and spread of the virus in wild deer populations is currently limited,” the ministry said. Do not show any unusual symptoms.
Matter of time
Not long ago, the virus was detected in deer in Canada.
Recently, a US study published in the journal PNAS on 624 samples of white-tailed deer from four states showed that 40% of them had antibodies associated with SARS-CoV2.
Another study published last August in the prestigious “Nature” journal showed that a third of deer in the northeastern United States had antibodies associated with COVID-19.
Environment Canada said that at the moment, there is no reason to believe that the virus can be transmitted from deer to humans.
Nonetheless, the spread of COVID-19 in deer, although it does not make the animals sick, is a cause for concern. “Infection of a new host can lead to a viral adaptation, leading to the evolution of the genome and the emergence of new mutations that may be transmitted differently, present an altered infectivity, or evade vaccination”, Also cautioned the study authors. published in PNAS
That risk is even greater if the virus spreads to an abundant species close to humans, such as white-tailed deer, he said.
“While waiting to learn more, and as an added precaution, to practice good hand hygiene and avoid spraying or spraying as much as possible when exposed to respiratory tissues and fluids from deer It is recommended to wear an appropriately fitted mask to avoid clothing,” so invited Environment Canada.
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