Oh, Deer!

November 17, 2021 by Dr. Gregory Snider0
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Oh, deer.  Will COVID ruin everything? We’ve seen the stories of household pets getting COVID and some zoo animals even dying with the virus. And now, is our annual rite of hiding in the trees and bushes to score tasty venison for Thanksgiving at risk?  Several studies have shown that COVID is showing up in white tail deer populations across the US. Is this trouble? Probably not. First, there have been no documented cases of deer-to-human transmission of COVID. Second, deer do not appear to suffer illness from carrying the virus. Third, even if a deer has COVID virus in its system, once cooked, its meat offers no risk to the consumers. What’s all this amount to, then?  Hunters should simply avoid the secretions from the animal’s mouth and nose, use gloves when field dressing or processing the animal, use good kitchen hygiene, and cook venison properly.  Sorry, deer, but it looks like you’re still on the menu … for now.


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