Covid-positive deer may be harboring the virus and infecting humans, study says


Aside from saving lives right away, other fundamental reasons public health officials were pushing the masses vaccination The reason for delaying the spread of COVID-19 is that the more hosts the virus is present in, the more likely it is that the virus will eventually mutate to a more virulent one.Obviously, it has happened at least twice so far in SARS-CoV-2: initially hyperinfectious Delta variantAnd later More contagious Omicron variant..

Currently, the number of human hosts in the United States is Omicron wave falls off peak.. If you’re lucky, it may mean that this wave of infection is over, but the coronavirus continues to circulate (and continue to mutate). EndemicFewer hosts to do so.

Or at least human host.As you know, SARS-CoV-2 is Bats and pangolins Previous Crossover to humans.. We also know that the virus spreads to animals, perhaps through humans. dog, Cat, Zoo lionWhen Large group of deer It seems to be infected with humans.

Ominously, the infection trend may now be heading in the opposite direction. A Recent Canadian studies Deer, one of the most ubiquitous large mammals in North America, may have infected humans with COVID-19, a disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. That means that the virus circulates in the deer for some time, propagates, and sometimes mutates along the way before returning to people.

Related: From deer and dogs to mice and minks, COVID-19 has spread to the animal kingdom.

New studies provide evidence that deer may have infected humans, but that is not clearly proven. Performed by more than 20 scientists across Ontario and posted to the database bioRxiv (not yet peer-reviewed). This study included 300 samples from white-tailed deer in Canada during the last few months of 2021. For SARS-CoV-2, they are all from southwestern Ontario. Scientists have found that this same strain of SARS-CoV-2, which is very different from other known strains, is also very similar to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that infects humans. (It was also closely associated with strains found in humans in Michigan in late 2020.) Scientists cannot confirm that the virus was transmitted to humans by deer, but humans live in the same geographic area as deer. He was in close contact with the deer at the same time that the infected sample was collected.

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However, the sample size is very small and no one has it definitely It proved that the deer gave the virus to humans. Also, there is no evidence that a person carrying the mutant SARS-CoV-2 virus infects others, and initial experiments suggest that the new virus cannot evade the antibody. In other words, vaccinated individuals will probably be safe if it spreads among people.

Finally, the deer-based SARS-CoV-2 virus is so unknown that there is still no reason to believe it poses any increased risk to humans. The bigger concern is that the virus can evolve in animals and can turn into a more dangerous one.

“The virus evolves in deer, away from what is clearly evolving in humans,” said Samira Mvarek, a virologist at the Sunnybrook Institute and the University of Toronto and author of the new paper. It is branched in. ” Told the New York Times.. After fully sequencing the genomes of five infected deer, scientists discovered many previously unrecorded mutations. They also found 76 mutations that set the new version of SARS-CoV-2 from the original version of the virus. Some of those mutations were previously found in other infected animals. mink..

Shortly before this study was published, another group of scientists announcement Pennsylvania deer may have continued to be infected with the alpha mutant after disappearing into humans, and as they continued to spread it, the alpha mutant evolved within them. This further reinforces concerns about deer culturing the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

SARS-CoV-2 virus believed it Derived from a horseshoe-shaped bat. At some point, the virus is thought to infect another animal through one or more “spillover events” and eventually to a human host. Bats are notorious Because their immune system is abnormally aggressive, it acts as a host for dangerous coronaviruses. This means that bat-inhabiting viruses need to evolve and replicate more quickly in order to survive.

Mike Boots, a disease ecologist and professor of integrated biology at the University of California, Berkeley, told ScienceDaily in 2020: Bats are not so closely associated with us that we cannot expect to host many human viruses. However, this study shows how the bat’s immune system can promote toxicity to overcome this. “

Read below for more information on animals and COVID-19.

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