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Chronic Wasting Disease Reported in Deer Near Montrose

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The first case of chronic wasting disease in deer in Southwest Colorado has been reported.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife says a deer found just east of Montrose last spring has been confirmed to carry the fatal neurological disease, which occurs in deer, elk and moose. It is a prion-borne disease similar to scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad-cow. However, studies have not found any relationship between chronic wasting disease and human health problems, or linked it to any other prion disease. So far it has been found in 77 of Colorado’s 186 game management units. Hunters who take deer in units near Montrose this fall can have them tested for free. The Centers for Disease Control advises hunters to use caution when handling deer and elk carcasses and to avoid eating tissues known to harbor the disease agent – such as the brain, spinal cord, spleen and lymph nodes – in areas where the disease has been found.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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