Mad Deer Disease (CWD)
Spreads To Illinois


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Reuters) - A young wild female deer shot by a landowner is Illinois' first case of chronic wasting disease, a fatal wildlife illness linked to mad cow disease, state officials said.
The man shot the doe in Winnebago County, in north-central Illinois, in late October because it appeared ill, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said. Tests on Friday confirmed the diagnosis.
Illinois has been testing deer and elk for the disease for the past five years, state officials said. Extensive tests are planned during Illinois' deer hunting season, which begins on Nov. 22. Samples will also be taken from deer control programs in northeastern Illinois, where hunting is not allowed.
Winnebago County shares a border with the state of Wisconsin, where about 40 wild deer have been found with the affliction since it first emerged in the state in February.
The Wisconsin cases were the first to appear east of the Mississippi River. The disease has been present in U.S. deer and elk for decades but until last year was confined mostly to the Rocky Mountain and Plains states.
CWD is in the same family of illnesses as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad cow disease, which can damage brain and nerve tissue.
The disease has never been found to infect humans or cattle, but the World Health Organization has advised against eating venison or any part of an animal showing symptoms.
CWD has been found in wild deer in Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan and
It has also been found in farmed elk in Minnesota, Colorado, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada.
Wisconsin launched a series of hunts this summer in an effort to eradicate the deer population in a 400-square-mile zone in the southern part of the state, where all of its CWD-positive deer have been found.


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