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DNR confirms chronic wasting disease in mid-Michigan deer

David Kenyon
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
It's the first time the infection has appeared in Ogemaw County. The Michigan DNR says the disease is uncommon and only appeared in 16 deer across the state last year.

The disease is a fatal neurological infection that causes symptoms such as excessive drooling, weight loss and abnormal behavioral changes.

Every year, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources sets testing goals for the disease in certain counties throughout the state. But, surveillance of chronic wasting disease had not been conducted by the DNR in Ogemaw County.

While there have been no reported cases of the infection in humans, the DNR encourages hunters to use caution when handling deer.

The DNR said in a written statement that additional opportunities for deer testing in the county will be made available and the disease in uncommon in the state. Last year, only 16 cases were confirmed statewide.

Editor's note: This story originally included a photo of a mule deer, not a white-tail deer. The photo has been corrected with white-tail deer. In the interest of transparency, we note the Michigan DNR is a financial supporter of WCMU.

Renae is a newsroom intern covering northwest Lower Michigan for WCMU.