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No Signs Of Deadly Deer Disease In North Carolina

North Carolina deer
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission says there's still no sign of a deadly disease that has killed whitetail deer in other states.

The agency does annual tests for what's called chronic wasting disease. The disease is caused by a protein that slowly attacks and shuts down the deer's nervous system. The Wildlife Resources Commission says it did not find the protein in tests of more than 3,000 deer carcasses from the most recent hunting season.

Deer biologist Jonathan Shaw says it's still a threat because it spreads fairly easily, and has not abated in other parts of the country.

"It's a 100 percent fatal disease," he said. "A deer can't survive once it's infected with it, and we really haven't seen it hit an equilibrium in places where it has been for decades."

Chronic wasting disease has been detected as close as northern Virginia and western Tennessee.  There's a ban on transporting deer carcasses from any other state into North Carolina. 

There are no documented cases of it infecting humans.

Will Michaels is WUNC's Weekend Host and Reporter.
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