Medical scientists have discovered that the coronavirus was passed by humans to white-tailed deer more than 100 times in late 2021 and early 2022.
The research also suggests that the virus probably spread widely among deer, where it mutated in the animals and that these altered versions of the virus were passed back to people at least three times.
Published in the journal Nature Communications, the findings add to concerns that deer, which are ubiquitous in the United States, might become a long-term animal reservoir for the virus and a source of new variants. Deer regularly interact with humans and are commonly found in human environments.
The cost of a new covid outbreak would be enough to plummet the entire world economy, so some advocates are demanding that the deer be killed. Environmentalists are defending the deer.