Deer can carry tuberculosis

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"Health officials warn residents of exposure to bovine TB

CHEBOYGAN, Mich. (AP) -- Health officials here are cautioning residents about the increased risk of being exposed to bovine tuberculosis.

The disease can affect any warm-blooded animal, including humans, and can be transmitted between animals and humans, most commonly through respiration, health officials said ...

Deer processors, hunters, guides and trappers who could have frequent contact with diseased animals should be screened periodically with a TB skin test, officials said.

Bovine TB primarily affects cattle, bison and horned animals such as deer and elk. It has been discovered on 10 Michigan farms since 1998, all in the northeastern Lower Peninsula.

Nearly 300 deer also have been confirmed TB-positive. State officials believe deer pass the bacteria to cattle, possibly when mingling with them at feed piles ...

In the past 20 years, reports of individuals becoming infected with Bovine TB have been documented, officials said. At least five people in the state are LIVING WITH THE DISEASE, the Cheboygan Daily Tribune reported."

NEWS ARTICLE from The Associated Press, 12-8-00

`` Preliminary tests show Emmet County deer likely TB-positive

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Preliminary tests show a 1-year-old whitetail buck shot by a hunter in Emmet County likely had bovine tuberculosis, state officials said Friday ...

That would make it the first known TB-positive deer found in the county at the northern tip of lower Michigan.

As a result, feeding and baiting will be banned in Emmet County starting next month, Bender said. In addition, all cattle, bison, goats and privately owned deer within 10 miles of the infected deer will be tested in the next six months.

"This is not a total surprise and should not be cause for alarm," said Bob Bender, the state's bovine TB eradication coordinator ...

Preliminary tests from more than 22,000 deer samples this year show 39 more deer likely will be diagnosed as TB-positive, DNR veterinarian Steve Schmitt said. Of those, 37 are from the five-county section of northeastern Michigan where the outbreak was first detected in 1994. One came from Crawford County and the other was from Otsego County.

Officials are hoping for more samples from TB-positive counties and their neighbors as hunting season progresses. They are particularly interested in samples from Cheboygan and Charlevoix counties, which are between Emmet County and the five-county zone.

Biologists have been collecting the heads of deer killed during hunting season in order to trace and stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis. The tests also give individual hunters a way to find out if they have shot an infected deer.

Experts at a Michigan State University dissect the lymph nodes out of each deer head and look for abnormalities.

If the nodes appear normal, the head goes to an incinerator and the DNR notifies the hunter by mail that meat from the animal is safe to eat.

When the nodes appear abnormal, samples are forwarded to another lab for tissue cultures to determine if the TB organism is present. That process takes weeks, and the hunter is notified that the venison should not be eaten until the results are known.

Since the DNR began testing deer in 1995, a total of 285 have been found positive among 60,105 deer tested.

Of more than 4,900 farms tested, only 11 cattle farms and one privately owned deer farm have been diagnosed with TB.

Bovine TB has cost Michigan farmers millions of dollars a year because states that are free of the disease place restrictions on the sale of Michigan cattle ... ''

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"Bacterial disease strikes Martha's Vineyard

WEST TISBURY, Mass. -- -- Health officials are investigating a several cases of the rare disease tularemia on Martha's Vineyard, the island off Massachusetts known as a vacation haven for President Clinton and other celebrities.

At least 10 residents have been infected with the disease and one of them recently died. Normally, the state sees one or two cases a year ...

Tularemia is a bacterial disease usually contracted by a dog tick bite or by touching or eating an infected animal. Rabbits and rodents are the animals most likely to be infected ..."

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