- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 10, 2019

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A case of chronic wasting disease has been confirmed in a captive deer in Douglas County of west-central Minnesota, marking the first appearance of the fatal brain disease in that county, the Board of Animal Health announced Tuesday.

The board said an 8-year-old white-tailed doe tested positive after it was killed by its pen-mate, a white-tailed buck, the only other deer on the site. Test results are pending on the buck, which was euthanized.

No deer remain on the site, which has been quarantined, the board said.

The board’s senior veterinarian, Dr. Courtney Wheeler, said they’re investigating how the disease might have reached the herd, which was owned by a hobbyist, including the herd’s history and the movements of animals to the property.

Chronic wasting disease is caused by abnormally shaped proteins called prions, which can persist in the environment. It spreads from deer to deer. While it’s not known to infect humans, authorities advise against consuming infected meat.

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