First Wild CWD in Iowa

Late 2012 saw first case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in captive deer in Iowa, and there has been chronic wasting disease in wild deer in every state bordering Iowa, but Iowa only recorded its first case of CWD in a wild deer in the state in an announcement on April 9.

According to an Iowa Department of Natural Resources press release, “The deer was reported as harvested in Allamakee County during the first shotgun season in early December.”

The state is formulating a response plan and coordinating efforts with nearby Minnesota and Wisconsin.

A report by KTVO says that the gates of the hunting facility in Davis County where the first case of CWD was found two years ago were chained open when the facility was supposed to be quarantined to protect local deer from the disease.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources press release is here.
A Minneapolis Star-Tribune article about the finding is here.
A Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin article is here.
The Des Moines Register article is here.
And the KTVO report is here.

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Another CWD Deer in Pennsylvania

white_tailed_deer_buckChronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was first detected in Pennsylvania in 2012 at a captive facility in Adams County. Subsequently, three free-ranging deer harvested by hunters during the 2012 season tested positive for CWD. Now, a Pennsylvania Game Commission press release reports, a white-tailed deer that was killed by a vehicle this fall has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD).

The latest case is in the same county as one of the previous wild deer cases. Apparently, that’s the first report of CWD in Pennsylvania in 2013 (even though the press release came out in 2014, which makes things a little confusing).

Read the Pennsylvania Game Commission press release, here.
Read a brief article in PressConnects.com, a Gannett publication, here.

Photo: A (very) healthy deer. Joe Kosack/Pennsylvania Game Commission

CWD in Plants

cwd_map 9-30-13Plants, including crop plants such as alfalfa and tomatoes, may serve as a reservoir for the prions, or misfolded proteins, that cause chronic wasting disease in deer (as well as other prion diseases such as scrapie in sheep, and mad cow disease), reports WisconsinWatch after a careful reading of the The Wildlife Society conference program.

WisconsinWatch is produced by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. And they certainly investigated here.

Christopher Johnson, U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center will present a talk on his research at the conference on October 7.

Oh, and Johnson found that the prions from plants were infectious when injected into mice.

I’m going to skip right over the scary prospect of plants as a reservoir for prion diseases and go right to the next point made in the WisconsinWatch article: this finding is not going to change the fact that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has pretty much given up on managing CWD in the state.

Johnson’s findings have not yet been published in a scientific journal, and it appears that the National Wildlife Health Center has not yet released a report or a press release on the research.

Find The Wildlife Society Conference abstract here.
Read the WisconsinWatch article here.

Map: Incidents of CWD, courtesy of USGS National Wildlife Health Center