DGIF confirms cases of CWD in deer

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RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries says it has confirmed more than two dozen cases of Chronic Wasting Disease in white-tailed deer.

According to a release, DGIF says 26 deer from Frederick County and two from Shenandoah County were harvest during 2018.

Of those, 26 were harvested by hunters and showed no symptoms of the disease, and two were showing signs before they died and members of the public reported them to the state agency.

DGIF says it tested more than 1,550 deer from Frederick, Clarke, Warren and Shenandoah counties or CWD during the 2018 hunting season with the assistance of hunters, road-kill contractors, deer processors and taxidermists.

The release says 66 CWD-positive deer have been confirmed from Frederick and Shenandoah counties, all of which had been harvested west of Interstate 81.

DGIF also partnered with dozens of taxidermists across Virginia to enhance CWD surveillance, which proved effective in securing more than 1,500 samples from across the Commonwealth.

CWD has been detected in 26 states and three Canadian provinces. It is a slow, progressive neurologic disease found in deer, elk and moose that will ultimately result in the death of the infected animal.

Symptoms do not appear for several years, but once they do, they include staggering, abnormal posture, lowered head, drooling, confusion, and marked weight loss.

DGIF says there is no evidence the disease can be naturally transmitted to people, livestock or pets, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say hunters should test all deer harvested from known CWD-positive areas and not consumer any animals that test positive for the disease.

For more information on CWD, click on the link in the Related Links box.



 
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