Mad Dear Disease Found
OUTSIDE Wisconsin
Total Kill Zone
From Patricia Doyle, PhD

From ProMED-mail

Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 4, 2002

A wild deer was discovered with chronic wasting disease (CWD) for the first time outside a 411 square mile zone west of Madison, a newspaper reported. A 3 year old buck shot in Grant County in south western Wisconsin during the 9 day hunting season that ended Sunday tested positive for the fatal disease, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in Wednesday's editions.
The Wisconsin Viral Research Group in Wauwatosa is conducting the lab work for test kits marketed to hunters through sporting goods stores. Tom Hauge, a Department of Natural Resource wildlife administrator, told the newspaper he was not surprised by the lab's discovery.
"If there is an expectation that there is more CWD out there, I wouldn't be surprised to find it in that part of the state," Hauge said. Grant County borders Iowa County, part of which is included in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) 411 square mile eradication zone, where it wants all the deer killed in an effort to eradicate the disease from the herd. So far, 41 wild deer have tested positive within the zone [But how many have been tested? - Mod.TG].
The private lab is using technology not approved by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). It has tested about 300 samples out of about 600, with only the 1 positive result.
The lab's founder, Konstance Knox, defended the accuracy of the company's testing technology, which she said is under review by the USDA. The lab will use a different approved procedure to check the results. Knox's lab was hired by Wildlife Support Services of Hayward, which sold about 10 000 kits to Wisconsin sporting goods stores. State officials will have to analyze the test results from the Grant County deer and any others found.
"Where we are right now is that we need to sit back and let all of the test results get in," Hauge said. "We are not going to charge out and start killing deer in other places." The DNR would plan to wipe out local deer populations if the disease is found only in pockets and not widespread through the herd, Hauge said.
CWD creates sponge-like holes in the deer's brain, causing the animal to grow thin, act abnormal, and die. There is no cure. The DNR is not sure how the deer became infected.
On the Net: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: <>.
-- ProMED-mail <>
[Surveillance outside of the designated eradication zone is likely to turn up other positive animals, as the method of transmission of this disease has not been defined. At this point, it may be nothing more than previously infected animals having escaped the eradication zone. - Mod.TG]
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message board at:


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