Research in Iowa shows COVID-19 is spreading through the deer population

Should hunters be worried about contracting COVID-19 from deer they've harvested?


Deer across Iowa are contracting coronavirus, and experts have said it's spreading like wildfire.

Experts at Iowa State University said nearly 80% of deer in their sample tested positive for coronavirus. The good news is that it can't be passed to humans from animals.

Researchers found COVID-19 antibodies in deerskin samples, which led them to the discovery.

"We submitted these tissue samples, and it was determined these tissue samples were sufficient and could show the COVID-19 infection or SARS-COV-2 infection," said Tyler Harms, with the IowaDepartment of Natural Resources.

Deer hunting season is already underway.

Should hunters be worried about contracting the virus from deer they've harvested? The DNR said no.

And are the deer safe to eat? The DNR said yes.

"There shouldn't be any risk of contracting the virus from consuming meat that's infected as long as it's cooked to an appropriate temperature," Harms said.

If you're harvesting the animal, the DNR suggests using extra caution like wearing gloves or a mask. They also suggest testing the deer for chronic wasting disease before consuming it.