In the United States of America, scientists at Pennsylvania State University have identified a strain of the Omicron coronavirus in nearly 20 white-tailed deer on Staten Island, which can later cause heart attacks and strokes in humans.
It is reported by “Sciencealert”.
The publication writes that the results of the study, which have not yet been peer-reviewed, show for the first time that the virus is spreading to wild animals.
Scientists have found the coronavirus in about one-third of the white-tailed deer studied in Iowa between September 2020 and January 2021. Another research team found the virus in one-third of deer in Ohio.
“We did not expect to find such a level of widespread infection,” said Suresh Kuchipudi, deputy director of the Animal Diagnostics Laboratory in Pennsylvania.
Experts are worried that deer could be a reservoir for covid even after the coronavirus becomes endemic in humans. In a worst-case scenario, the virus could develop in deer to better evade vaccine protection and then spread to humans.
The authors write that they have previously found the virus in cats, dogs, ferrets, minks, pigs, hamsters and rabbits, but scientists have paid close attention to white-tailed deer for several reasons: in addition to being very vulnerable to infections, white-tailed deer arbitrarily live in the United States in close proximity to people.