CDC case study finds deer with tuberculosis can transmit bacteria to people

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning hunters that deer with tuberculosis can transmit the bacteria to people.

According to WHAM, the report stems from a 2017 case in Michigan in which a 77-year-old man was diagnosed with the disease. He had no exposure to people or countries with endemic tuberculosis.

The man was an avid hunter and had dressed deer for 20 years. The CDC says that following lab tests, he was found to have been exposed to mycobacterium bovis, a bacterium found in deer, cattle, bison, and elk that can be spread to humans and cause tuberculosis.

Two other Michigan cases had also been linked to deer. Doctors to believe the bacteria was inhaled during the removal of diseased portions of the deer.

The CDC says hunters should protective equipment while field-dressing deer. 

Wildlife veterinarian Dan Grove told the Fox station in Nashville, Tennessee that the safety advice issued by the CDC is sound. He said if it looks like there is an abscess in a piece of meat, you want to avoid it. 

Grove said Michigan and Minnesota are the only states where tuberculosis in wildlife populations have been reported.

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