KENAI, Alaska (AP) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has announced that several wild sheep and goats have tested positive for a pathogen that has caused respiratory disease in Lower 48 herds.

The implications of the bacterium, called M. ovi for short, aren’t quite clear yet – but Alaska’s sheep have stayed relatively clear of respiratory disease.

The department says the presence of the pathogen “in an animal does not mean it is or will become sick.” It says more than 100 species of the pathogen exist with varying ability to cause disease.

Infected animals came from a variety of locations in the state, including the Talkeetna Mountains, the Brooks Range and the Kenai Peninsula.

Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion,

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