Chronic wasting disease detected in Madison Co. deer

Chronic wasting disease detected in Madison Co. deer
Chronic wasting disease affects deer, elk and moose. (Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)

MADISON COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - A deer in Madison County was confirmed to have a fatal neurological disease during ongoing statewide efforts to manage the illness.

Virginia’s Department of Wildlife Resources confirmed the case of chronic wasting disease, or CWD, during surveillance of the state’s disease management area, which includes Madison County. The area was outlined after a deer in Culpeper County had the disease during the 2018-19 season.

The disease affects deer, elk and moose and causes degeneration of the brain, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death.

Hunters in the CWD management areas can submit harvested deer for testing, which helps the department monitor the infection rate of the local populations and map the geographic spread.

The department has set up at least one refrigerator drop site for voluntary CWD testing. You can find them at this link. A hunter can drop off the head, plus 4 inches of attached neck, of a harvested deer at one of the drop sites for testing. Some taxidermists and processors can collect and submit samples on behalf of hunters.

There is no evidence that CWD can infect humans, but experts advise not eating the meat from CWD-positive deer.

For more information about the Department of Wildlife Resource’s efforts, click here.

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.