Tuberculosis news causes unnecessary concern for most deer hunters


(Photo by Windigo Photos)

ATHENS, GA – A report by the Centers for Illness Handle and Prevention (CDC) touched off a wave of nationwide headlines about deer hunters and tuberculosis, but most news coverage failed to give a extremely critical detail: Bovine tuberculosis is eradicated in white-tailed deer except in a little region in the northeast Reduced Peninsula of Michigan. Outdoors northeast Michigan, there is no explanation for deer hunters to be concerned about bovine tuberculosis (TB).

The CDC case involved a 77-year-old Michigan hunter who contracted tuberculosis in 2017, apparently although field-dressing a deer. Even in the historical detection region that incorporates 13 counties in northeast Michigan, bovine TB is uncommon in deer.

“The highest prevalence of the illness in deer has been discovered in Deer Management Unit 452, occupying components of 4 counties in the northeastern Northern Reduced Peninsula,” stated Dr. Kelly Straka, State Wildlife Veterinarian with Michigan DNR. “Within this DMU, about two% of the deer tested for bovine TB are optimistic. Quite a few Michiganders travel to this region to hunt. When you contemplate that we have had folks harvesting deer in that aspect of the state for a extended time, and extremely couple of instances exactly where hunters have contracted tuberculosis and gotten sick, our encounter suggests that bovine TB is not a especially effortless illness to transmit to folks. That getting stated, the threat is not zero.”

For that explanation, Michigan DNR recommends the following precautions for hunters in the impacted region of Michigan:

  • Put on protective latex gloves when you field-dress a deer.
  • Do not shoot or consume the meat of any animal that seems to be sick.
  • When you are field-dressing deer, appear for indicators of the illness. Photos of bovine TB in deer are readily available on the State of Michigan’s Emerging Illnesses site.
  • Cook venison completely (to a minimum of 160 to 165 degrees), even though do not consume any deer that you suspect was sick or that tested optimistic for bovine TB.


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