Purdue University and the state of Indiana have joined a federal effort to prevent spread of chronic wasting disease, a fatal illness that has been detected in wild and domestic deer and elk in 11 states, not including Indiana.

This month, pathologists at the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratories (ADDL), based on the Purdue campus, began using a new machine to test tissue samples to determine whether deer or elk are infected with the disease. While no cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) have been found in Indiana, seven cases were discovered since last November in northern Illinois.

Wisconsin found the first cases east of the Mississippi River in February 2002