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CWD found in 3rd deer; EHD found in three cattle

CWD found in 3rd deer; EHD found in three cattle

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A third deer killed in southwest North Dakota has tested positive for chronic wasting disease and another disease associated with deer has been found in three head of cattle in Morton and Grant counties.

The deer was a mule deer doe that was shot on the opening weekend of the season in Unit 3F2, the same unit CWD was found in 2009 and 2010.

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture said Tuesday epizootic hemoragic disease, EHD, has been confirmed in three cows.

An EHD outbreak this fall resulted in a significant die-off in white-tailed deer in the western part of the state.

Susan Keller, state veterinarian, said infected cattle usually recover from the viral disease that is spread by biting midges, but she urged producers to be aware of the symptoms.

Infected cattle can have sore mouths and appear to be lame, Keller said. She emphasized the disease poses no threat to human health.

Dan Grove, veterinarian for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the deer killed the opening weekend and the deer killed in 2009 and 2010 were killed within 15 miles of each other.

"According to the hunter, the animal looked healthy," Grove said. "It showed no visible signs of having any health issues."

Game and Fish Department officials have monitored for CWD in 3F2 for the past couple years as well as rotating surveillance to cover the entire state every three years.

Deer were collected from units in the central third of the state this year.

CWD affects the nervous system of members of the deer family and is always fatal. No evidence has been found that it can be transmitted naturally to humans or livestock.

Reach reporter Brian Gehring 250-8254 or brian.gehring@bismarcktribune.com.

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