Omicron infection in US deer raises concerns about new COVID-19 variants – National

The discovery Omicron variant The white-tailed deer in New York has raised concerns that the species, which number 30 million in the United States, could become the host of a new species. Coronavirus a lead researcher said Tuesday.


Blood and several swab samples from 131 deer caught on New York’s Staten Island showed almost 15% had antibodies to the virus. The findings suggest that these animals were previously infected with the coronavirus and are susceptible to repeated re-infection with the new variants, say researchers led by Pennsylvania State University scientists.

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“The circulation of a virus in animal populations always increases the likelihood of reinfecting humans, but more importantly, it creates more opportunities,” said Suresh Kuchipudi, a veterinary microbiologist at Penn State. more chance for the virus to evolve into new variants.”

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“When the virus mutates completely, then it can escape the protection of the current vaccine. So we will have to change the vaccine again,” said Kuchipudi.

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This finding – the first time Omicron has been detected in a wild animal – comes as the increase in COVID-19 infections caused by this variant is dwindling in the human population of the United States.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, although there is no evidence that animals are transmitting the virus to humans, most cases of coronavirus have been reported in species that have been in close contact with people infected with COVID-19. according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

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In August, the US government said it had found the world’s first cases of COVID-19 in wild deer in Ohio, expanding the list of animals believed to have tested positive for the virus. this disease.

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This finding is based on samples collected from deer months before the heavily mutated Omicron variant emerged to replace the Delta variant that had previously dominated in humans in countries around the world.

The USDA has previously reported COVID-19 in animals including dogs, cats, tigers, lions, snow leopards, otters, gorillas, and ferrets.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by David Gregorio) Omicron infection in US deer raises concerns about new COVID-19 variants – National

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