CDC warning: Deer with tuberculosis can pass it on to people

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The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is warning hunters to be on the lookout for bovine tuberculosis in deer. / Michigan Department of Natural Resources

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning hunters that deer carrying tuberculosis can transmit the disease to humans.

According to the CDC, the report stems from a 2017 Michigan case where a 77-year-old regular hunter who had no exposure to people or countries with tuberculosis was diagnosed with the disease.

The report states the man, who had been a hunter for 20 years, was exposed to Mycobacterium bovis – a bacteria found in deer, cattle, bison and elk – which can spread to humans and cause tuberculosis.

Doctors believe the bacteria was inhaled during the removal of diseased portions of the deer when field-dressing deer carcasses.

The CDC said those in Michigan who submit deer heads that test positive for the bacteria could be at a higher risk for infection.

They also advise screening for tuberculosis.

Hunters are advised to wear protective gear while field dressing.

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