East Texas biologist studying disease infecting deer

A disease infecting deer has East Texas wildlife experts looking into how it can contained.

According to wildlife experts, Chronic Waste Disease or CWD, show similarities to 'mad cow disease'. It's an illness that manifests within the white tailed deer. Texas Parks and Wildlife in Tyler said there are not cases of the disease in East Texas. However, it's something experts said hunters should worry about. 

CWD has been around for more than a decade and cases have been confirmed near San Antonio and the pan handle, according to TPWL-Tyler. Larry LeBeau a Tyler biologist, is examining the deer population in Smith and Wood county. He's conducting the research to see how the disease can contained or eradicated. CWD is something he said he believes can have a tremendous impact on the state. 

"It's not a bacteria, it's not a virus so that's the difficulty of the chronic waste disease," LeBeau said. "We're looking for something that's very hard to diagnose." 

LeBeau said CWD can make a deer appear as if it's malnourished. It'll walk 'wobbly' and drool saliva. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there haven't been reports it infecting people but it could pose a threat to other animals. 

© 2017 KYTX-TV


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