- 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
- 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- [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.
- Patricia A. Doyle, PhD Please visit my "Emerging
Diseases" message board at: http://www.clickitnews.com/emergingdiseases/index.shtml