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Two more Michigan deer test positive for Chronic wasting disease

Jan 20, 2017

Two more deer have tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in Michigan.

The two female deer are from a farm in Mecosta County, north of Grand Rapids. The farm has been quarantined and other deer are being tested for CWD. 

State wildlife officials are investigating to see if the source of the infection can be determined.

CWD can be transmitted directly from one animal to another, or indirectly through the environment. 

“Chronic wasting disease is a serious disease affecting both farmed and free-ranging deer,” said MDARD State Veterinarian James Averill, DVM. “We are following the state’s CWD response plan and taking the necessary steps to protect the health and well-being of all of Michigan’s deer populations.”

In 2008, a deer at a Kent County farm tested positive for CWD.

Since 2015, nine free-ranging deer in Ingham and Clinton counties have been diagnosed with the fatal neurological disease.  

"Any discovery of chronic wasting disease in free-ranging or farmed deer is disappointing,” said Chad Stewart, DNR deer and elk specialist. “It will take significant time and effort – through immediate, targeted surveillance and mandatory checks during the upcoming deer seasons – to understand the current situation.”

Scientists say CWD presents no risk to humans or other animals outside the deer population, either through contact with an infected deer or from handling venison that came from a CWD-infected deer. Still, health officials discourage consuming meat from a deer infected with CWD.