The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has identified 30 free-ranging white-tailed deer that are confirmed or suspected to have chronic wasting disease.
The DNR says 17 deer from Montcalm County are suspected or confirmed to be positive for Chronic Wasting Disease.
"The fact that we have likely found so many additional CWD-positive deer is a major concern for Michigan's deer population", said Chad Stewart, DNR deer specialist in a press release.
The test results mark the fifth case of CWD discovered in Montana wild deer this fall. Of those tested, 30 cases of CWD have been suspected or confirmed in deer from Clinton, Ingham, Kent and Montcalm counties. They have also opened additional deer check stations and encourage all hunters to have their deer tested at the stations.
The 2017 Iowa deer harvest is running 4.5 percent ahead of the 2016 totals.
Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose.
An incident command team defines an initial response area (IRA) around where an infected animal was harvested, and may recommend a special CWD hunt to collect enough samples to determine disease prevalence and distribution.
The DNR has established a "core and management zone" where the disease has been detected.
However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals.
So far in 2017, one deer has tested positive in Clinton County and no deer from Ingham County has tested positive. In Ingham County, five deer from Meridian Township tested positive from 2015 to 2016; since then, no deer from Ingham County have tested positive for CWD.
This is the first year any free-ranging deer in Montcalm County have been found to have the disease. TSEs are caused by infectious, mis-folded prion proteins, which cause normal prion proteins throughout a healthy animal's body to mis-fold, resulting in organ damage and eventual death.