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Five deer in southwestern Ontario test positive for COVID

'These are the first cases reported in free-ranging Ontario wildlife'
20221018 white tailed deer
White-tailed deer.

Recently, five white-tailed deer samples collected from southwestern Ontario in November have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

"These are the first cases reported in free-ranging Ontario wildlife," says an MNR post on Facebook. 

SARS-CoV-2, has previously been detected in wild white-tailed deer in the northeastern US, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.

"COVID-19 remains largely a disease of human concern and typically spreads from human to human. As we continue to learn more about the virus and its impacts on people, communities, and animals, adhering to public health advice and getting fully vaccinated are key ways to protect against COVID-19," says the post.

"There is currently no evidence that you can get COVID-19 from food, including game meat, however, it is always important to cook meat to an internal temperature of 74°C (165°F) to kill any parasites, viruses or bacteria that may be present.

It's believed COVID-19 originated from a coronavirus that infects wild bats in southeast Asia. It was spread to humans through an intermediary wildlife host

For additional information and best practices regarding COVID-19 in various wildlife species and animals visit Animals and COVID 19.