With hundreds of Indiana deer tested for a deadly, incurable disease, it’s been all good news so far.
State officials say there have been no positive test results for chronic wasting disease. “We’re glad we don’t have a positive thus far but we still have a long way to go. We’re not even halfway through . . . our first samples,” said Jon Marshall, spokesman for the fish and wildlife division of the state Department of Natural Resources.
So far, 639 deer brain samples have been tested, out of 1,361 that have been sent to a lab in Ohio.
Wildlife officials have been wondering whether chronic wasting disease has made it to Indiana.
The disease was first discovered in Colorado 35 years ago and has been spreading east. By November, it had spread all the way to northern Illinois, about 100 miles from Indiana. It’s also been found in southeastern Wisconsin. It is not known how the disease spreads but it’s believed to be from contact with an infected deer.
The disease is similar to mad-cow disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which affects humans.
DNR officials collected nearly 3,500 samples from hunters last fall.
“We’re glad to get some results and encouraged they’re all negative at this time. But we’re still holding our breath,” Marshall said.