how hunters can protect themselves

The Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine has found the virus that causes COVID-19 in Ohio deer.

The fact that a significant percentage of wild Ohio deer tested last winter were positive for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus pathogen that causes COVID-19 in people, doesn’t necessarily change the hunting game when the 2021-22 whitetail season opens later this month.

Prudent hunters, however, should wear rubber or throwaway surgical gloves when field-dressing a downed animal. And that’s only one of several just-in-case precautions being recommended by the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

That's because what was found in the wild deer captured by Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine — with test results confirmed at a federal lab — “is in fact the same virus” identified in late 2019 at the start of a global outbreak, said Mike Tonkovich, the wildlife division’s deer project leader.

None of the infected Ohio deer showed signs of disease.

People aren’t consistently as fortunate. Infection symptoms range from none to hospitalization and death. COVID is officially blamed for almost 650,000 deaths in the United States and around 4.5 million worldwide.

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