Cases of chronic wasting disease are being found in deer across the country


According to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, an adult doe in Loudoun County tested positive for the neurological disease-- chronic wasting disease.

The deer was actually harvested back in October during archery season. This is the first case of chronic wasting disease to be detected in the county.

The disease was first discovered in the “Old Dominion” state back in the late 2000s, and since then has been found in five other counties.

At the beginning of November, two deer in Minnesota tested positive for the disease as well.

This now brings the total number of deer that have tested positive for chronic wasting disease to 95.

According to a supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, “It’s concerning to see these two positive test results. We will continue gathering data to show how prevalent the disease is in these areas, and maintain our aggressive management response.”

Pulaski County, Missouri had its first confirmed case of the disease, as well.

The buck was brought in by a hunter in Waynesville.

The Missouri Department of Conservation is asking that hunters bring in their deer for testing, for not only their safety but for the safety of the wildlife.

According to the CDC, chronic wasting disease (CWD) affects animals in the deer and elk family. Symptoms include severe weight loss, neurological symptoms, stumbling, having a droopy head, and/or drooling. It is similar to “mad cow disease” and can be fatal. It is passed from animal-to-animal by either saliva, feces, urine, or contaminated water or soil. There is no data that suggests humans can catch CWD.

Many wildlife, conservation, and natural resources agencies are working with hunters to set up testing stations or testing drop off spots.


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Story Sourced Via Jack Moore at WTOP, Charlie Wiese at KSTP, and Megan Smaltz with KRCG