Chronic Wasting Disease In
New Region Of Wyoming

From Patricia Doyle, PhD
Hello Jeff - There is no surprise in the moderator's remarks.
Of course, the deer in endemic areas spread the disease with them when they broaden their range. One factor that has not been mentioned is deer hunting. Deer on the run move out of their normal range when hunters are in the woods. We know that deer migrate and bring the illness with them. Once there, they begin to contaminate the environment and spread the disease to the deer normally in the expanded range. In other words animal "overlap" continues until the disease is spread through an entire State and enters neighboring States.
This is why the 100% total kill areas are not going to succeed, and serve to actually spread the illness beyond the area. Deer escape and bring the disease. Slaughtered deer pose a risk to the environment. Blood and body fluids do get into the environment.
Activity, such as hunting, or, mass hunting of deer and elk, cause the deer to leave their normal range and, thus, we have situations of spread such as that in Wyoming.
As you may note below, the number of States with Chronic Wasting Disease are growing. There are still many States, like New York, that don't test for the disease. We, therefore, have no way to know if it exists in the States not testing. By the time the disease shows up in these States, it will be far too late to eradicate or contain the disease.
Patricia Doyle
Chronic Wasting Disease In New Region Of Wyoming
Source ABC [edited]
For the first time, a fatal brain malady of elk and deer has been discovered in north-central Wyoming. A white-tailed buck and a mule deer taken in the Kaycee area last month [October 2004] were both found to have chronic wasting disease (CWD), Wyoming Game and Fish officials announced on Friday [19 Nov 2004].
"Although CWD has been found in southeastern Wyoming for a number of years, this is the first time we have found CWD in the east slope Big Horn Mountains," said Warren Mischke, spokesman for the agency's Sheridan Region.
The white-tailed deer was killed by a hunter on 22 Oct 2004 and taken to a local processing plant. Department personnel noticed the animal was very thin and decided to collect the lymph nodes for analysis. The Game and Fish lab in Laramie reported the result on 12 Nov 2004. The same day, results revealed chronic wasting disease in the mule deer, which had been killed on 24 Oct 2004.
So far, the laboratory has tested 120 animals from Hunt Areas 30 and 33, where the diseased deer had been taken. "We may need to collect more deer to learn additional information about the distribution of CWD in and around this new area," said Dan Thiele, a Game and Fish wildlife biologist based in Buffalo. "Current research indicated infested animals tend to be found in localized groups, or clusters. Taking 25 to 30 deer out of the immediate area will allow us to see how well established CWD may be in the area, and, potentially limit the spread."
Officials are hoping to obtain more hunter-harvested samples from the area. Hunters can contribute to surveillance efforts by having deer or elk tested, Thiele said. A total of 3269 hunter-harvested deer and elk in Wyoming have been tested this fall, with 70 testing positive for the disease. Besides Kaycee, 2 other new areas were found to have the illness present: southwest of Laramie and near Elk Mountain.
Chronic wasting disease attacks the brains of infected animals, causing them to display abnormal behavior and eventually become emaciated and die. There is no evidence the disease can spread to people.
Once thought to exist only in the wild in northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming, the ailment has also been found in deer and elk in Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and in 2 Canadian provinces
Portions of Wyoming and Colorado have had this disease present for a number of years. Depending upon the range of the herd, available nutrition, population pressures, available feeding grounds, and possibly other influences, the animals may have ranged through normal movement into this new area. Continued surveillance may provide information as to how the disease entered. - Mod.TG
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message board at:
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