(Meredith) – Michigan officials are warning hunters to be on the lookout for bovine tuberculosis in deer. 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources called it an "emerging disease," which has recently affected a large beef herd in Alcona County. It's the 73rd cattle herd to be identified with bovine TB in the state since 1998, the Associated Press reported

Bovine Tuberculosis

A photo provided on the department's website shows what the disease looks like in a deer's ribcage.

According to the agency, bovine TB is an infectious disease that is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium bovis. It can be transmitted between wildlife populations, as well as farm animals.

The disease may develop in the lungs, but can also be found in the intestines and other parts of the body. 

Wildlife managers in Michigan are working to eradicate bovine TB from white-tailed deer in the state. Meanwhile, hunters are urged to get their deer tested -- even if the animal looks healthy.

Here are a few warning signs of bovine TB to lookout for when field dressing a deer:

  • Lymph nodes in the animal's head usually show infection first. As the disease progresses, lesions may begin to develop on the surface of the lungs and chest cavity.

  • In severely infected deer, lesions can sometimes be found throughout the animal's entire body. Deer with severe TB may have tan or yellow lumps lining the chest wall and in the lung tissue.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will host meetings to discuss its latest findings on Oct. 29 in Mio and Nov. 1 in Hillman.

For more information, visit

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