Information Station:

Data And Findings To Inform

This is the latest information from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) on the bird disease that is currently epidemic in Ohio:

Covid-19 Found In NE Ohio Deer

Ohio Department of Natural Resources researchers have found evidence of Covid-19 in white-tailed deer in northeast Ohio counties. Scientists have detected infection by at least three variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 in free-ranging white-tailed deer in six northeast Ohio locations, the research team has reported.

Previous research led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture had shown evidence of antibodies in wild deer. This study, published Dec. 23, 2021 in Nature, details the first report of active COVID-19 infection in white-tailed deer supported by the growth of viral isolates in the lab, indicating researchers had recovered viable samples of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and not only its genetic traces.

The fact that wild deer can become infected "leads toward the idea that we might actually have established a new maintenance host outside humans," said Andrew Bowman, associate professor of veterinary preventive medicine at The Ohio State University and senior author of the paper.

"Based on evidence from other studies, we knew they were being exposed in the wild and that in the lab we could infect them and the virus could transmit from deer to deer. Here, we're saying that in the wild, they are infected," Bowman said. "And if they can maintain it, we have a new potential source of SARS-CoV-2 coming in to humans. That would mean that beyond tracking what's in people, we'll need to know what's in the deer, too.

"It could complicate future mitigation and control plans for COVID-19."

A lot of unknowns remain: how the deer got infected, whether they can infect humans and other species, how the virus behaves in the animals' body, and whether it's a transient or long-term infection.

The research team took nasal swabs from 360 white-tailed deer in nine northeast Ohio locations. Using PCR testing methods, the scientists detected genetic material from at least three different strains of the virus in 129 (35.8%) of the deer sampled.

         -Information from ScienceDaily online magazine

Central Ohio Migratory Bird Chart

The chart below shows Central Ohio migratory & visitor bird information. It is sorted alphabetically from earliest arrival date to latest departure date, & is based on historical data . Click the link to view.