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CDC warns hunters: Deer carrying tuberculosis strain can pass it to people

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A warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to hunters looking to bag a buck or doe: You could get a strain of tuberculosis from a deer if it is infected by the virus.

A report released by the CDC this week is warning hunters about tuberculosis in deer spreading to people.

The report comes two years after the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services was made aware of a 77-year-old man who had tuberculosis caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium bovis, also known as M. bovis.

CDC officials learned that although the patient wasn’t around anyone with tuberculosis, he had regularly hunted and field-dressed deer. Investigators learned that free-ranging deer in the area were often infected with M. bovis, according to KFOR.

It is believed that the man may have breathed in the bacteria as he gutted a deer, according to the CDC report.

This isn’t the only case of hunting-related M. Bovis in people the state has seen. There was a case in 2002 and another in 2004, according to the CDC. The CDC said both of those people had signs and symptoms of TB and had to get medical help.

People can get infected with M. bovis after direct contact with open wounds or inhaling the bacteria in the air the animals breathe, according to the CDC.

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