Oh Deer: Michigan Hunters Could Be Surrounded By Covid-19 Infected Deer
It might sound crazy but it's true!
As hunters head into the woods for Michigan's regular firearm season, which runs
Nov 15th - 30th, they could find themselves surrounded by Covid-19 infected deer.
It's unclear how these deer contracted Covid-19, but according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a study they conducted found COVID-19 antibodies in two-thirds of a white-tailed deer sample tested in Michigan.
The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service took 113 samples from white-tailed deer between January 2020 and March 2021 and found that 67% of them had COVID-19 antibodies.
Scientists are not certain how these deer were exposed to COVID-19 but some possibilities could be their environment, other deer, other animals, and people.
Could the deer spread the virus to people?
There is no evidence that animals, including deer, are playing a significant role in the spread of SARS-CoV-2 to people. Based on the available information, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is low.
Is hunter-harvested game meat safe to eat?
There is no evidence that people can get COVID-19 by preparing or eating meat from an animal infected with SARS-CoV-2, including wild game meat hunted in the United States. However, hunters can get infected with many other diseases when processing or eating game. Hunters should always practice good hygiene when processing animals by following these food safety recommendations
Bottom line: if you shoot a deer there's a chance it has Covid-19 antibodies, but it's not going to get you or your family sick and the meat should be fine to eat.