- A ProMED-mail post
- ProMED-mail, a program of the
- International Society for Infectious Diseases
- The Billings Gazette
- An elk killed recently in the Shirley Mountains north
west of Medicine Bow has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD).
Bob Lanka, wildlife management coordinator for the Game and Fish Department
in Laramie, said the discovery of the disease in the infected elk in Hunt
Area 16 didn't come as a surprise. He said animals in 2 other elk hunt
areas immediately to the east and south of Hunt Area 16 also had tested
positive for the disease.
- Lanka also said the disease has already been discovered
in a few deer there and in elk in the Laramie area, just east of the Shirley
- A hunter had killed the elk on 21 Sep 2006 near the Prior
Flats Campground. The Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory detected the
disease in the animal on 29 Sep.
- Terry Kreeger, supervisor of the Veterinary Services
Branch of the game department, said the elk killed in the Shirley Mountains
could have contracted the disease from other elk or from deer.
- The disease was first detected in Wyoming in the south
eastern part of the state and is spreading in wildlife populations. "We
know it (CWD) goes from white [tail] deer to mule deer to elk," Kreeger
said Monday. "Every direction as far as we know."
- The disease has been detected in 10 states and 2 Canadian
provinces. Researchers have found that the disease can spread among animals
in both saliva and blood. Infected animals show no signs for the first
1 to 3 years. But in the later stages of infection, the disease can cause
animals to become emaciated and display abnormal behavior.
- Public health officials and the Wyoming Game and Fish
Department have recommended that hunters not shoot or eat animals that
appear sick. Officials say hunters should wear latex gloves as a routine
precaution when field-dressing animals. Hunters should also minimize the
handling of brain and spinal tissues, bone out meat when butchering, and
wash their hands afterward. Scientists say there's been no documented transmission
of the disease to humans from eating infected game animals, or from any
other route. "It's impossible to say with 100 per cent certainty that
it will never happen," Lanka said.
- Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD
- Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural Economics
- Univ of West Indies
- Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message
- Also my new website:
- Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
- Go with God and in Good Health