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Deadly diseases could strike bighorn sheep

from USGS

Declining bighorn sheep populations may be vulnerable to some of the fatal diseases, including chronic wasting disease, that are found in their western U.S. habitats, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study. USGS National Wildlife Health Center research showed that bighorn sheep are likely susceptible to the deadly neurological diseases scrapie and CWD, which are occurring in or near natural bighorn sheep environments. These fatal diseases are caused by mysterious proteins called prions, and are known to infect domestic sheep and nondomestic deer, elk and moose. The USGS study is published in the journal BMC Veterinary Research, and is available online. more

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