Chronic Wasting Disease found in deer at two deer farmed facilities in Michigan

More deer test positive for CWD
Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 7:31 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Two new cases of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease, have been found in deer in Michigan. One in Mecosta county and another in Montcalm county at two different farmed deer facilities.

“There’s currently no treatment for CWD in all cases the disease is fatal to the deer and other family of the cervid family it effects,” said Assistant State Veterinarian for MDARD Jennifer Calogero.

Chronic wasting disease or CWD can infect everything from deer to elk and moose. Dr. Calogero says the two infected deer were discovered through routine testing as part of the states CWD surveillance program.

“It can result in damage to the central nervous system, you can see some clinical signs. We can have a range of symptoms some animals may not exhibit any signs or symptoms, this is a progressive neurological disease,”

Dr. Calogero said. Dr. Calogero says the disease can be easily transmitted to other animals.

“CWD is transmitted directly from one animal to another through saliva feces and urine and also indirectly through the environment,” Dr. Calogero stated. “As part of this response to this disease finding we are still continuing to do investigations to rule out exposure to any other farmed deer.”

These two cases make eight total number of CWD cases at deer farms. Free range deer that have tested positive are not included in this count. Last year they were found in every county in mid-Michigan.

“The general public will be likely to interact with the free ranging deer because deer hunting is important to Michigan’s economy, and again to help control the spread of this disease to those in the community its really important to follow current hunting regulations,” Dr. Calogero said.

There is no evidence that people can get CWD from eating the meat of an infected deer. but the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) say you shouldn’t do that, just to be safe.

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