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Sumner County deer cleared of deadly disease

Wildlife officials are saying a Cowley County deer originally diagnosed with chronic wasting disease was found to be a “false positive.” That means the deer did not really have the disease that’s always fatal in deer, elk and moose. It would have been the first time the disease that’s spreading rapidly across the U.S. was found in south-central Kansas.

Mike Miller, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism information chief, said the deer’s tissue was re-sampled at a federal facility in Iowa, after testing as a probable positive at a lab in Colorado. Miller said several deer were tested in Colorado this year after K-State ran out of testing materials.

A total of nine deer originally tested positive from about 2,400 deer tested after the 2011 hunting seasons. Six were in northwest Kansas, where CWD has been found since 2001. Positives found in Ford and Stafford counties are the first time the disease has been found outside that region in Kansas. The Stafford County deer, a 3 1/2-year-old whitetail buck, was also re-tested and found to have died from CWD.

That makes a total of 48 deer that have been found to have died from the disease since 2001. CWD has never been found to spread to humans or livestock.