It is believed that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was first transmitted to humans from bats, but we may need to be aware of another animal that could infect people with the coronavirus. A new COVID variant was found in white-tailed deers from the Canadian province of Ontario, according to a new study that Microsoft News tells the world about.
The same source claims that later on, a person who came in contact with a deer has proven to have a similar strand. This automatically triggers worries of another possible animal-to-human transmission of the virus, considering that both the human and the animal that were infected were living in the same area.
17 deers tested positive for COVID
White-tailed deers from Canada were analyzed for the new study, and it was concluded that 17 of them tested positive for the long-feared coronavirus. All of the infected animals belonged to the southwestern part of Ontario.
At the same time, there’s no one hundred percent guarantee, at least not yet, that deers can transmit the SARS-CoV-2 virus to humans.
Roderick Gagne, who’s a wildlife disease ecologist from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, confirms it while speaking for The New York Times:
We don’t have enough information yet to confirm that transmission back to humans.
Genome sequencing also led to the discovery of a new and highly divergent lineage of the virus. There’s also the possibility of the lineage evolving in animals since 2020.
Although it indeed sounds scary, check out what Arinjay Banerjee, a virologist from the University of Saskatchewan, has to say for The Times:
There’s certainly no need to panic,
The more hosts you have, the more opportunities the virus has to evolve.
The new study was posted in bioRxiv.