THe COVID-19 pandemic has dragged on for almost two years now. For many, myself included, things are more normal than in 2020. I've gone out to eat, I have gone to sporting events and concerts, etc. Still, COVID is here. It's always looming and still snatching headlines including this one. Buuut, this story isn't so much about Iowan humans getting the coronavirus...

How the COVID pandemic is affecting Iowa humans

Before we get to the furry critters getting COVID-19, let's start with us. Iowan people. According to the Iowa COVID-19 dashboard, the infection rate over the past 7-days (as of November 3) was 8.1%. Hospitalizations are down a bit, and children between the ages of 5-11 are set to get vaccinated. There's a Cliffs Notes version of the human COVID situation in Iowa. Now, on to the not-so-Disney story of the abundant Iowa animal getting sick.

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Photo by Divide By Zero on Unsplash
Remember to practice social distancing, Bamabi! Photo by Divide By Zero on Unsplash

COVID-19 appears to be spreading through Iowa's deer population

Deer throughout the state of Iowa are getting sick with the coronavirus, and researchers are concerned with the rate it's spreading. According to a KCCI report, Experts at the Iowa State University found that 80% of deer in their sample tested positive for coronavirus. While that is alarming, dare I say shocking stat, no need to panic, they also say it cannot be transmitted to humans, which is good news.

There shouldn't be any risk of contracting the virus from consuming meat that's infected as long as it's cooked to an appropriate temperature. -Tyler Harms, Iowa DNR

So with the hunting season well underway, should that cause concern for hunters? I mean, hunting is the ultimate form of social distancing, right? The answer is no. No need to be concerned or hunt in fear that the deer could make you sick. Also, you are safe to eat the deer assuming it's cooked to a safe temperature. You should still take extra precautions. Use gloves and wear a mask when handling a critter.

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