Deer in New York City have been infected with the COVID-19 variant Omicron.
This has raised concern about COVID-19 mutating further and spreading a new variant from deer to humans.
Can deer give humans COVID?
A study that is awaiting peer review found that of the 131 white-tailed deer sampled in Staten Island 15% tested positive for antibodies.
This is not the first time COVID-19 has been found in deer.
There is no evidence yet that suggests COVID-19 transmission from animals to humans. We do know that deer can transmit to other deer. However, experts do fear new mutation evolving from the deer.
This is the the first instance of the Omicron variant in animals. Experts are concerned that there is so much “spill-over” from humans to animals.
How did they get infected?
Every theory that includes animals infected with COVID-19, circles back to humans. It is possible that deer came in close contacted with an infected human for feeding. Household pets interacting with deer in the wild is another possibility.
Experts also suggest that wastewater may be a path of transmission.