First confirmed case of chronic wasting disease found in wild Ohio deer, ODNR says

The disease is fatal in animals, and there is no known treatment or vaccine.

First confirmed case of chronic wasting disease found in wild Ohio deer, ODNR says
Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer and other similar species such as mule deer, elk and moose. (Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (FOX19) - The first positive case of chronic wasting disease has been reported in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The positive test came from a white-tailed deer in Wyandot County northwest of Columbus.

The deer was shot by a hunter on private property, ODNR says. Tissue samples submitted by a taxidermist returned the positive result Dec. 10.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer and other similar species such as mule deer, elk and moose, ODNR says. Its symptoms include drastic weight loss (wasting), stumbling, listlessness and other neurologic symptoms. The disease is fatal, and there is no known treatment or vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

There is no strong evidence that CWD is transmissible to humans, ODNR says citing the CDC.

The CDC says of the disease’s transmission:

“Once introduced into an area or farm, the CWD protein is contagious within deer and elk populations and can spread quickly. Experts believe CWD prions can remain in the environment for a long time, so other animals can contract CWD from the environment even after an infected deer or elk has died.”

ODNR’s Division of Wildlife will now implement a response plan including mandatory disease sampling and enhanced surveillance within a 10-mile radius of the positive case.

The case is Ohio’s first since the Division of Wildlife began routine surveillance testing for CWD in 2002. More than 25,000 tests were returned negative without finding the disease in a wild herd, ODNR says, though CWD has been detected in captive deer breeding facilities in Ohio.

CWD has been found in 26 states and four Canadian provinces.

The disease was first discovered in the 1960s in the western US.

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