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Scientists concerned about potential COVID spread from infected deer


Axios Des Moines: Widespread coronavirus infections have been detected in Iowa’s white-tailed deer, according to a peer-reviewed study published today. Scientists worry the disease could mutate in animals and spread back to humans. Scientists from Penn State University partnered with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to examine hundreds of deer tissue samples collected as part of the department’s chronic wasting disease surveillance. More than a third of all samples collected between April 2020 and January 2021 were positive for coronavirus and the levels coincided with infection rates among humans in Iowa. More than 80% of samples contained the virus following the November 2020 peak of human cases in the state.

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