A single case draws caution
A Missouri deer was diagnosed with Chronic Wasting Disease, a fatal neurological disease of cervid animals (deer, elk and moose).
The whitetail deer was found early 2010, after being inspected as part of the state’s CWD surveillance and testing program. The animal was born and raised on the deer-elk game farm in Linn County where it was detected. The CWD diagnosis was confirmed by USDA’s National Veterinary Services lab at Ames, Iowa. It’s the first animal—wild or captive—to be confirmed with CWD in Missouri.
For Dr. Taylor Woods, Missouri State Veterinarian, it’s one too many. “CWD hasn’t been around [or known about] for that long. It’s a new kind of disorder; one with no vaccine to prevent it and no effective treatment to cure it. However, there’s no evidence that CWD poses any threat to domestic animals or humans.”
As Dr. Woods said, CWD is a relatively new malady. The first known case in the U. S. was in 1967, in a captive mule deer at the Colorado Division of Wildlife research facility at Fort Collins. In the 40-plus years since, CWD has been detected in both captive and wild deer and elk in 16 other states (and two Canadian provinces) including Missouri neighbors Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
Complicating the veterinary effort,