The officials of the Missouri Department of Conservation announced that chronic wasting disease was confirmed in five specimens. The researches collected over 19,200 tissue samples in 29 counties in east-central, northeast, and central Missouri on November 12 and 13 last year.
The total cases include four adult bucks harvested in Macon County, Adair County, and Franklin County, as well as a one-year-old male harvested in Jefferson County. MDC reported the five cases last year in December.
The department received the results from the lab testing for roughly 650 samples. Fortunately, no deer had been infected with chronic wasting disease. The samples were taken from the herds living in 7 counties in the southwestern Missouri.
However, the situation is quite bad in other regions. More precisely, over one hundred cases of chronic wasting disease have been confirmed in the northwestern Arkansas. According to Jasmine Batten, the Wildlife Disease Coordinator at MDC, this large-scale analysis has been quite a challenge, but thanks to the joint efforts of many businesses and hunters, the department has successfully established the extent of the CWD contamination among the deer population.
Batten says that although it is unfortunate that several CWD cases have been confirmed, the results are still very encouraging. The researchers analyzed many deer out of which just five were infected with chronic wasting disease.
This means that the prevalence of this contagious condition is relatively low. The department encourages the landowners living in the areas where the infected deer were discovered to harvest more specimens and test them.
The counties affected by CWD are St. Francis, Ste. Genevieve, Moniteau, Linn, Macon, Franklin, Jefferson, Crawford, Cole, and Adair. Additional sampling will play a major role in establishing the CWD extent.
Furthermore, the experts will be able to prevent an outbreak. It is worth mentioning that chronic wasting disease is almost impossible to eradicate because it is easily spread through the saliva of infected deer.
In other words, if dozens of animals are grazing together and just one of them is infected with CWD, there is the risk for all deer to contract the virus. Worse, chronic wasting disease is fatal, and there is no vaccine to cure it. Besides MDC, many other departments in the United States will continue monitoring the white-tailed deer population.
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