The first confirmed case of anthrax in a Texas animal for 2012 has been detected in an adult white-tailed male deer near Uvalde, according to the Texas Animal Health Commission.
At this time no domestic livestock are involved.
Anthrax is a bacterial disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, which is a naturally occurring organism with worldwide distribution, including Texas. It is not uncommon for anthrax to be diagnosed in livestock or wildlife in the Southwest part of the state.
In recent years, cases have been primarily confined to a triangular area bounded by the towns of Uvalde, Ozona and Eagle Pass.
Hunters are encouraged to check signs of anthrax in any harvested deer. Deer display symptoms including difficulty breathing and convulsions. Latex gloves worn while cleaning a deer can help reduce the risk. Eating meat from infected deer is also considered risky, although cooking the meat thoroughly will help kill the infection.
“The TAHC will continue to closely monitor the situation for possible new cases across the state. Producers are encouraged to consult with their veterinary practitioner or local TAHC office about the disease,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Dee Ellis.
For more information regarding anthrax, visit http://www.tahc.state.tx.us/animal_health/anthrax/anthrax.html.