ST. PAUL -- A deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease in Douglas County, officials said Tuesday, Dec. 10.

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health confirms an 8-year-old white-tailed doe tested positive for CWD after its white-tailed buck pen-mate killed it in a small, two-deer, hobbyist herd in Douglas County, according to a release. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed the doe’s brain and lymph node tissues were positive for the disease. The site is under quarantine, officials said.

This is the first time CWD has been confirmed in Douglas County.

“We’re conducting a full and thorough investigation of herd history and animal movements to determine any likely routes of CWD transmission in the herd,” said Dr. Courtney Wheeler, board of health senior veterinarian, in the release.

When the Douglas County herd owner received the CWD-positive results for the doe, he decided to euthanize the only remaining deer on site, the buck, and submit it for CWD testing. Test results are pending.

CWD is a disease of the deer and elk family caused by prions, which can damage brain and nerve tissue. The disease is most likely transmitted when infected deer and elk shed prions in saliva, feces, urine and other fluids or tissues. CWD is not known to naturally occur in other animals. The disease is fatal in deer and elk, and there are no known treatments or vaccines. Consuming infected meat is not advised.

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