The virus has been found in other animals around the world.
Oh deer. Canadian officials reported Wednesday that they detected the COVID-19 virus in wildlife for the first time.
The National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease (CFIA) found SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in three white-tailed deer in Quebec's Estrie region. The CFIA took samples from the deer between November 6 and 8.
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) reported "the deer showed no evidence of clinical signs of disease and were all apparently healthy."
Though this was a Canadian first, ECCC explained that there has been "evidence of spillover" of the COVID-19 virus from humans to deer in the United States, though "there has been no known transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from deer to humans at this time."
Around the world, SARS-CoV-2 has been found in dogs, mink, domestic cats, big cats and primates, among other animals.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the risk of an animal infecting a human with the COVID-19 virus is low.
ECCC said the discovery of the virus in Canadian deer "emphasizes the importance of ongoing surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in wildlife to increase our understanding about SARS-CoV-2 on the human-animal interface."
The department promises federal and provincial authorities will continue to "monitor and assess the potential implications of the virus on Canadian wildlife."
Quebec deer can't seem to catch a break. The animals made headlines earlier in the week following a controversial announcement from the City of Longueuil that it plans to cull part of a population that's devastating a city park. Longueuil says the deer are also malnurished as a result of their overpopulation.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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