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PA Game Commission: Deer Can't Transport Covid to Humans

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(The Center Square) – In response to recent reports about the connection between COVID-19 and deer, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is seeking to reassure residents that there is no evidence to support that deer can spread the virus to humans or that humans can contract it from consuming venison.

Research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that in Pennsylvania and three other states wild white-tailed deer tested positive for the antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, meaning that these deer were exposed to the COVID-19 virus and formed antibodies as an immune response.

Hunters are encouraged to enact the same longstanding safety precautions to reduce the risks that are always associated with handling wildlife.

“COVID-19 has affected all of us, and it’s not surprising the recent research that shows deer can develop COVID antibodies has generated interest,” Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said in a news release. “But at the same time, there’s nothing to suggest deer hunters or other Pennsylvanians are at risk of contracting COVID from exposure to deer. By taking ordinary precautions when hunting and handling deer, hunters help to reduce any disease risk.”