New cases found in Northern Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, IL. – Sixteen additional cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) have been detected in northern Illinois through sampling of hunter-harvested deer during the state’s 2005-06 deer seasons. The new cases include two deer taken by hunters in Ogle County, the first time CWD has been detected there.

“The Department of Natural Resources continues intensive sampling for CWD as part of our effort to slow the spread of the disease in our wild deer herd,” said Paul Shelton, manager of the IDNR Forest Wildlife Program. “We appreciate the support of hunters who continue to voluntarily allow us to take tissue samples from their deer to test for the disease. The sampling, testing and surveillance is extremely important as we deal with CWD.”

Chronic wasting disease was first discovered in Illinois in November 2002 and to date Illinois has detected 112 positive cases.

The disease had been confined in northern Illinois in Boone, Winnebago, McHenry and northern DeKalb until the two new cases were detected in nearby Ogle County this winter.

“We were somewhat surprised to find these two cases in Ogle County because no cases had been detected there previously despite very intensive sampling,” Shelton said. “We’ve sampled nearly 2,000 deer in Ogle County since 2003 and these are the only two cases we have found there to date. We are still awaiting the results of approximately 350 other samples from Ogle County taken this fall.”

Illinois biologists have collected samples from more than 2,500 deer in seven northern Illinois counties so far during the 2005-06 firearm and archery deer seasons and from suspect animals reported to the IDNR.

Hunters in Boone, Winnebago and McHenry counties a portion of DeKalb County north of the East-West Tollway will participate in a CWD Deer Season Jan. 13-15 to help control deer densities and the spread of chronic wasting disease. Hunters with unfilled 2005 firearm, muzzleloader or archery deer permits valid for one of the open counties may use those to hunt. Hunters using unfilled permits from the 2005 firearm, muzzleloader or archery season may take deer appropriate for that permit (antlerless-only or either-sex). Special CWD season permits were also issued previously. Check stations will be manned in the four counties and successful hunters who submit samples for CWD testing will be provided with an additional permit valid for the remainder of the season.

Confirmed CWD cases by county:

  • Boone-53
  • Winnebago-42
  • McHenry-9
  • Dekalb-6
  • Ogle-2

Check station locations for the CWD Deer Season:

  • Boone County – Boone County Fairgrounds, Rt. 76 and Business Rt. 20, Belvidere.
  • DeKalb County – Potawatomi Woods Forest Preserve, 32199 Kirkland Rd.(one-quarter mile north of Rt. 72), Kirkland.
  • McHenry County – Sportsman’s Choice, intersection of Routes 14 and 47, Woodstock.
  • Winnebago County – Rock Cut State Park, 6425 Hart Rd. (one mile east of Perryville Rd. on Hart Rd.), Loves Park.

While not thought to be contagious to humans or livestock, CWD is known to spread from animal to animal among deer and elk. The disease affects the brain of the infected animal, causing it to become emaciated, display abnormal behavior, lose coordination and eventually die.

Illinois expanded its chronic wasting disease surveillance effort in 2002 following the discovery of CWD in neighboring Wisconsin. For updated information about CWD, check the IDNR web site at: Hunters who participated in the CWD sampling can check the status of their deer at this site. Hunters who provided samples from deer that test positive are notified by the IDNR.

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