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No, deer can't spread COVID-19 to humans

As Arkansans prepare to head back to the deer stand, there could be concern after an NPR article suggested deer could carry SARS-CoV-2 and spread it to humans.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — A recent article by NPR said, 'new evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 spreads explosively in American White-Tailed Deer, suggesting the animals could carry the virus indefinitely and spread it back to humans periodically.'

As Arkansans head back to the deer stand this weekend, there could be some concern of transmission of the virus.

So let's verify, "Can deer spread COVID-19 to humans?"

Our sources are Trey Reid with Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the CDC.

"There is no known case of a deer infecting a human with COVID-19," said Trey Reid.

Deer can be carriers of the virus, just like several other species, including cats, monkeys, and mink.

Research shows that those animals likely got the virus from humans.

"The thought is that perhaps that is one way. Humans in these dense, urban areas where the deer were being removed from... there was enough COVID-19 transmission to occur between humans to deer."

The CDC said, "there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading SARS-CoV-2 to people," but it is more likely animals become positive with the virus from close contact with humans.

There is no evidence that humans could get COVID from eating deer either.

So we can verify, no, there is no reason to worry that deer will give you COVID-19. It's more likely the deer will get SARS-CoV-2 from another positive animal or humans.

This is false.

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission tells us no deer have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in Arkansas, but they also tell us there hasn't been a lot of testing done.

As for COVID-19 symptoms in deer, they say the animal doesn't seem to show symptoms like humans do.

Remember if you have something you'd like VERIFIED, let us help! Email us – verify@thv11.com.


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