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From: TSS ()
Date: September 4, 2005 at 11:05 am PST

In Reply to: GAME COMMISSION NOTIFIED OF CWD-POSITIVE DEER IN WEST VIRGINIA posted by TSS on September 2, 2005 at 2:35 pm:

Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director

News Release : September 2, 2005

Hoy Murphy , Public Information Officer (304) 558-3380

Contact: Paul Johansen , Wildlife Resources Section

(304) 558-2771 or (304) 389-5077

Chronic Wasting Disease Found in Hampshire County Deer

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources announced today it has
received confirmation that a road-killed deer in Hampshire County tested
positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). “This is the first known
occurrence of CWD in West Virginia ,” said Director Frank Jezioro . “Upon
receiving this confirmation, we initiated our CWD Response Plan which is
designed to effectively address this important wildlife disease issue.”

The CWD Response Plan is specifically designed to accomplish the following

(1) determine the prevalence and the distribution of CWD through enhanced
surveillance efforts;

(2) communicate and coordinate with the public and other appropriate
agencies on issues relating to CWD and the steps being taken to respond to
this disease;

(3) initiate appropriate management actions necessary to control the
spread of this disease, prevent further introductions of the disease and
possibly eliminate the disease from the state.

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the
Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study located at the University of
Georgia 's College of Veterinary Medicine , has tested 1,320 free-ranging
deer from West Virginia for CWD since 2002, and the Hampshire County deer is
the only animal found thus far to be infected with CWD. The positive CWD
sample was collected from a 2½ year-old, male deer in Hampshire County as
part of a long-term, statewide CWD surveillance effort. The Hampshire County
deer tissue sample was first tested at the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife
Disease Study in Athens , Georgia , and then confirmed as positive for CWD
by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Veterinary Services
Laboratories in Ames , Iowa .

CWD is a neurological disease found in deer and elk, and it belongs to a
family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. The
disease is thought to be caused by abnormal, proteinaceous particles called
prions that slowly attack the brain of infected deer and elk, causing the
animals to progressively become emaciated, display abnormal behavior and
invariably results in the death of the infected animal. There is no known
treatment for CWD, and it is always fatal for the infected deer or elk. It
is important to note that currently there is no evidence to suggest CWD
poses a risk for humans or domestic animals.

CWD was first recognized in 1967 in Colorado , and it subsequently had
been found in captive herds in nine states and two Canadian provinces and in
free-ranging deer or elk in nine states and one province. Earlier this year,
the disease was found as far east as New York . The source of infection for
wild and captive deer and elk in new geographical areas is unknown in many
instances. While it is not known exactly how CWD is transmitted, lateral
spread from animal to animal through shedding of the infectious agent from
the digestive tract appears to be important, and indirect transmission
through environmental contamination with infective material is likely.

“While the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources certainly considers
this a serious wildlife disease situation with potential impacts to the
state's important deer management program, I am confident that our well
trained and professional staff of wildlife biologists, wildlife managers and
conservation officers will meet this challenge and implement appropriate
management strategies,” said Jezioro. “In addition, we are most fortunate to
have scientists and veterinarians stationed at the Southeastern Cooperative
Wildlife Disease Study, including some of the foremost wildlife disease
experts in the world, available to assist us in this effort.”

More information on CWD can be found at the West Virginia Division of
Natural Resources' Web site: and
the CWD Alliance website: .



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