From: TSS ()
Subject: THREE DECATUR COUNTY DEER CONFIRMED POSITIVE FOR CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE KANSAS
Date: January 19, 2008 at 9:34 am PST
THREE DECATUR COUNTY DEER CONFIRMED POSITIVE FOR CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE
CWD contingency plan includes further sampling
PRATT--Three white-tailed deer taken by hunters in Decatur County have
tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), according to the Kansas
Department of Wildlife and Parks.
Dr. Ruby Mosher, KDWP’s wildlife disease coordinator, said the initial
screening tests performed by Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
have been confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames,
Iowa. All three deer were taken by hunters along Sappa Creek in central
Decatur County, north of Oberlin, which is in the northwest corner of the
Testing is still to be completed on approximately two-thirds of the samples
collected by KDWP for testing. The samples from northwestern Kansas are
given priority since they are from deer that have a higher known risk of
being exposed to CWD than those in the rest of the state. As results are
returned over the next 6 to 8 weeks, regular updates will be posted on the
KDWP website here.
CWD has been detected twice previously in Kansas. The first case was in 2001
in a captive elk herd in Harper County. The other occurred during the 2005
hunting season in a wild whitetail doe harvested in Cheyenne County.
Last month, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reported a CWD-positive
deer from an area just a few miles north of Decatur County, in Red Willow
Wildlife biologists from Kansas and Nebraska plan to sample more deer in the
vicinity in February to help determine the prevalence of the disease in the
Tissue samples from more than 2,200 deer taken by hunters during the most
recent Kansas hunting season have been submitted for lab analysis. The three
affected deer from Decatur County were among those samples, and the hunters
who shot those deer have been notified.
KDWP biologists have conducted annual sampling of hunter-harvested and
road-killed deer since 1996.
Although research is underway, there is currently no vaccine or other
biological method of preventing CWD. The only tool is to prevent the spread
of CWD to new areas, because once the infective particle (an abnormal prion)
is deposited into the environment -- either through an infected carcass or
from a live animal -- it may exist for a decade or more, capable of
infecting a healthy deer.
Despite the recent occurrences, the likelihood of finding CWD in a wild deer
harvested in Kansas is small. That small likelihood decreases even more the
farther from northwestern Kansas the deer lived. In recent years, numerous
cases of CWD have been documented in neighboring areas of Colorado, Nebraska
While CWD is fatal to infected deer and elk, humans have never been known to
contract the disease. CWD is a member of the group of diseases called
transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Other diseases in this
group include scrapie in sheep and goats, bovine spongiform encephalopathy
(BSE or mad cow disease) in cattle, and Cruetzfeldt-Jacob disease in people.
CWD is a progressive, fatal disease that results in small holes developing
in the brain, giving it a sponge-like appearance under the microscope.
Decreased brain function causes the animal to display neurological symptoms
such as depression, droopy head, staggering, loss of appetite, and a lack of
response to man. The continuing deterioration of the brain leads to other
symptoms such as weight loss, drooling, and excessive thirst. Caution is
advised because of un-known factors associated with prion diseases, but no
human health risks have been discovered where CWD occurs.
The symptoms of CWD include loss of body weight, stumbling, holding the head
at an odd angle, circling, non-responsiveness to people, and pneumonia. Any
sick deer or elk should be reported it to the nearest KDWP office or the
Emporia Research Office, 620-342-0658.
Hunters can help protect the health of the Kansas deer herd by taking the
following steps to avoid accidentally introducing CWD to a new area in Kansa
• do not transport deer carcasses far from the area where the deer lived,
especially from areas where CWD has been detected, such as northwestern
• if a carcass is transported, the hunter should make sure that carcass
waste is not dumped into the environment where local deer or elk can come
into contact with it. Carcass waste can be disposed of by double-bagging it
and taking it to a landfill.
The Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance maintains an online clearinghouse of
information about the disease ( www.cwd-info.org). More information is also
available on the KDWP website (enter “CWD” in the search box at the KDWP
website: www.kdwp.state.ks.us). Contact Bob Mathews at KDWP’s Pratt office
(620/672-5911) for more information.
3 Decatur County deer found to have fatal disease
BY MICHAEL PEARCE
The Wichita Eagle
> Though similar to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which reportedly killed a man
from the Colby area this week,
> chronic wasting has yet to be passed to livestock or humans.
PLEASE note, this statement is in line with the same BSe that was stated
about the death of a man recently from
'suspected' sporadic Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease in the Colby area. Chronic
Wasting Disease in deer and elk i.e.
CWD, is a TSE Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy, same as BSE or Bovine
in cattle (oh, and sheep and goats too, yes BSE has tranasmitted to both).
IT really gets confusing, but our friendly
federal officials (industry reps) love to play down all this as if it never
has, and never will, sadly, it already has.
i urge all of you to READ THE SCIENCE AND TRANSMISSION STUDIES TO DATE.
CWD has transmitted to cattle and primates, transmission studies have never
been done on man.
MY comment about the recent 'suspect' case of sporadic CJD in the Colby
area, and please remember this one thing
about the infamous sporadic CJD's ;