Another southern state recently discovered a whitetail with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). It happened almost a year after Texas discovered the state’s first confirmed case in their own wild whitetail herd. According to the Texas Parks & Wildlife, CWD was found in a hunter-harvested yearling (1½-year-old) buck in 2017. The deer was checked in Medina County, which falls within Zone 3. TPWD officials are reportedly taking steps and precautions to contain the disease as much as possible.
According to a recent press release from the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, officials have now collected a whitetail in Issaquena County, Mississippi, that tested positive for CWD.
“The deer was a 4.5-year-old male that died of natural causes and was reported to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks,” the press release stated. “This is the first time an animal in Mississippi has tested positive for the disease, which is fatal to white-tailed deer. MDWFP will immediately implement the CWD Response Plan under the auspices of the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.”
Once contracted, this is an always-fatal disease that thrives in the nervous system of cervids (deer, elk, reindeer and moose). It can be passed on through saliva, urine, feces, spinal and brain fluids, etc. Similar diseases affect other animals such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) which is also referred to as Mad Cow Disease. It’s also found in sheep, known as Scrapie. Also worth noting: we know that Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) — a sister disease to BSE and CWD — is capable of infecting humans.
Since the recent discovery in Mississippi, there has been a supplemental feeding ban in Claiborne, Hinds, Issaquena, Sharkey, Warren, and Yazoo Counties.
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