Canada has confirmed the first detections of SARS-CoV-2 in three free-ranging white-tailed deer. These deer were sampled between November 6 to 8, 2021, in the Estrie region of Quebec.
Samples for SARS-CoV-2 were collected through a big game registration station in southern Quebec. Similar to findings in the United States, the deer showed no evidence of clinical signs of disease, and were all apparently healthy. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) was notified on December 1, 2021.
As this is the first detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wildlife in Canada, information on the impacts and spread of the virus in wild deer populations is currently limited. This finding emphasizes the importance of ongoing surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in wildlife to increase our understanding about SARS-CoV-2 on the human-animal interface.