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From: TSS ()
Subject: CWD found in elk north of Medicine Bow Wyoming
Date: October 10, 2006 at 1:19 pm PST

Chronic wasting found in elk north of Medicine Bow
By The Associated Press

CHEYENNE - An elk killed recently in the Shirley Mountains northwest of Medicine Bow has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

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 two 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 Mountains.

A hunter had killed the elk Sept. 21 near the Prior Flats Campground. The Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory detected the disease in the animal on Sept. 29.
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 southeastern part of the state and is spreading in wildlife populations.

"We know it (CWD) goes from white 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 two 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 one to three 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 percent certainty that it will never happen," Lanka said.


Published on Tuesday, October 10, 2006.
Last modified on 10/10/2006 at 11:10 am


Copyright © The Billings Gazette, a division of Lee Enterprises.


http://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/2006/10/10/news/wyoming/40-elk.txt

Test shows CWD in elk north of Medicine Bow

By Cory Hatch
October 10, 2006

Wyoming Game and Fish officials announced Sunday that the first elk from a hunt area in the Shirley Mountain region north of Medicine Bow tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

The Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory detected the disease Sept. 29. A hunter killed the 4- to 5-year-old elk Sept. 21 near the Prior Flats Campground in hunt area 16.

Since 1997, four deer in the area have tested positive for CWD, which is similar to “mad cow” disease in that it causes plaques on the brain that lead to behavioral changes and eventually death. Two of the deer tested positive last year. Unlike with “mad cow” disease, there is no evidence that chronic wasting disease poses a threat to humans.

Terry Kreeger, supervisor of the veterinary services branch of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, said the elk could have contracted the disease from another elk or from deer.

“We know it [CWD] goes from white deer to mule deer to elk,” he said from his office Monday. “Every direction as far as we know.”

Wildlife managers expected CWD to spread from where it was first detected in southeastern Wyoming, Kreeger said. “It’s slowly spreading from the southeast corner of the state in multiple directions,” he said.

In a statement, Game and Fish Department wildlife management coordinator Bob Lanka agreed.

“This really doesn’t come as a surprise because CWD has already been discovered in a few of the deer there and elk in the Laramie area just to the east of the Shirlies.”

In infected, free-ranging elk herds, Kreeger said, the disease is prevalent in 2 to 3 percent of the animals. Researchers aren’t sure how the disease would spread in more concentrated conditions such as in a feed ground. Earlier this year, researchers published a study showing that CWD could be transmitted from animal to animal in both saliva and blood.

Officials have detected CWD in 10 states and two Canadian provinces. Animals with CWD show no apparent symptoms for one to three years after they become infected. But in the terminal phase, the animals become emaciated and display abnormal behavior.


http://www.jhguide.com/article.php?art_id=1000


TSS



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