CHEYENNE – A mule deer buck harvested on Oct. 16 in hunt area 28 northeast of Hazleton in the Billy Creek Road area, has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), a brain disease known to affect some deer, elk and moose. CWD had not previously been detected in this hunt area. Hazleton is located southwest of Buffalo.
Personnel at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Laboratory analyzed samples taken as part of the department’s annual CWD survey and discovered positive results for the deer.
WGFD wildlife disease specialist Hank Edwards said the discovery of CWD in hunt area 28 was not surprising since neighboring areas 46, 30 and 27 have had animals test positive in previous years.
After a review of available scientific data, the World Health Organization in December 1999 stated, “There is currently no evidence that CWD in cervidae (deer and elk) is transmitted to humans.” In 2004, Dr. Ermias Belay of the Center for Disease Control said, “The lack of evidence of a link between CWD transmission and unusual cases of CJD, [Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a human prion disease] despite several epidemiological investigations, suggest that the risk, if any, of transmission of CWD to humans is low.” Nonetheless to avoid risk, both organizations say parts or products from any animal that looks sick and/or tests positive for CWD should not be eaten.
For more information on chronic wasting disease visit the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance website at: www.cwd-info.org.