CDC warns hunters of tuberculosis transmitted by deer

Posted at 2:06 PM, Sep 26, 2019

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is sending out a warning to deer hunters.

Monday, the CDC said it’s encouraging hunters to use personal protective equipment while field dressing deer to avoid contracting tuberculosis.

The federal agency says deer can transmit the disease to humans via a mycobacterium called Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis).

The CDC says people are most commonly infected with M. bovis by eating or drinking contaminated, unpasteurized dairy products, but infection can also occur from direct contact with a wound, such as what might occur during slaughter or hunting, or by inhaling the bacteria in air exhaled by infected animals.

Along with deer, M. bovis is most commonly found in cattle, elk and bison.

A report recently shared by the CDC details how a 77-year-old man in the northeastern Lower Peninsula of Michigan contracted tuberculosis after dressing a deer in 2017. He reportedly had no known exposure to people with the disease, no history of travel to countries with endemic tuberculosis and no history of consuming unpasteurized milk. Two other cases have also been reported in the state, one in 2004 and the other in 2002.

Deer hunting season in underway in many parts of the country. To learn more about protecting yourself from the disease, click here .