CWD Mad Deer Found
In Black Hills Of Wyoming

From Patricia Doyle, PhD

Hello, Jeff - Chronic Wasting Disease - which is simply Mad Cow disease in deer - is spreading as this post and previous posts have shown.
Note that 2 mule deer identified to be infected in 2002 were ones that were shot by hunters. I wonder how many deer taken by hunters have been CWD positive but not identified?
It would be interesting to compare increase in human CJD cases in areas where CWD is infecting deer, elk and moose. I believe that some CJD (sporadic) cases might be directly caused by eating deer meat. I think that people need to consider this possibility this coming hunting season. Consider this well before feeding deer meat to your family and friends.
Chronic Wasting Disease Found In Black Hills
From ProMED-mail Source MSN news/ ESPN outdoors [edited] 10-2-2
Chronic wasting disease -- long endemic to southeastern Wyoming and northeastern Colorado -- has been found in the Black Hills region of Wyoming for the first time, wildlife biologists say.
2 mule deer and 2 white-tailed deer in 4 northeastern Wyoming hunt areas tested positive for the fatal brain malady during recent sampling efforts. Wasting disease was also found in the Black Hills of South Dakota and in northwestern Nebraska in 2001.
Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologists were not surprised by the new findings and said it was only a matter of time before the disease spread further north. "We have verified the disease in (Wyoming's) Black Hills ... and we are actually surprised it took so long," said Joe Sandrini, Game and Fish wildlife biologist in Newcastle. "We know there is a lot of interchange among deer from Wyoming, South Dakota, and Nebraska."
The deer collected in the hunt areas were initially suspected of another disease known as bluetongue, a fatal illness spread by gnats that does not affect humans. A bluetongue outbreak was expected in 2003 because of ideal conditions for mud-loving insects, Sandrini said. Game and Fish is considering collecting more deer for CWD testing in the Black Hills to learn how the disease spreads, he said.
A similar effort is already underway statewide following a Game and Fish Commission decision in September 2003 to expand CWD surveillance. The department on Wednesday began taking samples from about 6000 deer and elk killed by hunters across the state. "We're disappointed to find those positives (in the Black Hills), but it's not a surprise," said Gregg Arthur, acting Game and Fish Department director. "That's one of the reasons -- based on the Colorado experience in 2002, when the state really started to look for CWD on the West Slope and found it there -- that we wanted to go statewide on our surveillance."
Chronic wasting disease attacks the brains of infected animals, causing them to display abnormal behavior and eventually become emaciated and die. There is no evidence that the disease can harm people. Researchers have yet to discover how it is spread.
The malady has been found in wild deer or elk in Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, and Wisconsin. It has also been found in captive herds in several other states.
See last year's postings on CWD in Wyoming: 20 Nov 2002; "Chronic wasting disease has been found in 2 mule deer shot by hunters in the Medicine Bow Mountains and Sierra Madre, marking the 1st time the disease has been found west of the Continental Divide in Wyoming." And on 28 Dec 2002: "In Carbon County, a 3rd case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been confirmed, a sign the wildlife malady may be spreading. The latest case involved a mule deer shot by a hunter this fall between Laramie and Arlington, and south of Interstate 80." - Mod.MHJ
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message board at: Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa Go with God and in Good Health




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