CDC warns deer can pass tuberculosis to hunters
© Getty images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned in a report released earlier this month that deer can transmit certain strains of tuberculosis to hunters.

In the report, the CDC said an unnamed 77-year-old Michigan man came down with a case of bovine tuberculosis in 2017 after two decades of hunting. The man had hunted in an area where the disease was observed in two other hunters more than a decade ago, according to the CDC.


The CDC believes the man came into contact with bovine tuberculosis pathogens while removing infected organs from dead deer.

Bovine tuberculosis is rare among strains of the disease, representing fewer than 2 percent of U.S. cases of the disease, according to CNN, and has mostly been eliminated in commercial cattle but is still found in bison, deer and elk. The most common cause of infection is eating or drinking unpasteurized dairy products.

Like other strains, its symptoms include respiratory problems, chest pain, fever and weight loss, but bovine tuberculosis differs from other forms in that it is resistant to the commonly-used antibiotic pyrazinamide.

The CDC added that while the average person’s risk is minimal, anyone working in close proximity to carrier animals or consuming raw dairy products should be regularly screened.