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Fatal mad cow-like disease in Texas whitetail deer doubles

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) - State wildlife officials say the number of known Texas whitetail deer infected with a fatal syndrome similar to mad cow disease has doubled.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department now counts 25 whitetail deer with chronic wasting disease. The tally sharply climbed with the discovery of 13 infected deer at a captive breeding facility in Medina County.

The disease had previously only been found in isolated mule deer herds in West Texas before an infected whitetail deer was discovered last summer. Infected animals may carry the disease unnoticed for years.

The San Antonio Express-News reports reports that state officials say the disease poses no apparent risk to humans or other animals. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommend people not eat meat from infected animals.

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