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Health, Science and Environment

Second case of CWD confirmed in Gratiot County

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The Michigan DNR has confirmed a deer in Gratiot county has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease.

Chronic Wasting Disease is a fatal neurological disease that affects white tailed deer, elk, and moose. The disease has been confirmed in eight other counties.

This makes the second case of CWD found in Gratiot county since 2018, and officials say the deer was several townships away from the last detection of the disease.

Chad Stewart with the Department of Natural Resources said even though CWD has already been identified in the county - the deer was found in a new area.

“We want hunters to be aware that we are finding CWD in new locations and we want to try and communicate the importance of getting their deer tested in areas where CWD has been identified,” he said.

Stewart said CWD can exist in the environment for years and is likely to continue spreading. He said the DNR’s goal is to keep the footprint of CWD restricted as much as possible.

“In hopes that we can find some sort of technology or scientific advancement that helps us better combat or cleanse the environment of these prions so it doesn’t become an issue with our deer herd,” he said.

Stewart said there is no proven link suggesting a hunter can be infected by CWD through an animal.

“That being said we are not human health professionals and places like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization essentially say if an animal does have chronic wasting disease it is recommended not to consume it,” he said.

The DNR is advising hunters in the southwestern Saginaw counties to have their deer checked for the disease.

The DNR is a supporter of WCMU.