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From: TSS ()
Subject: UTAH More instances of chronic wasting disease discovered
Date: October 18, 2005 at 8:40 am PST

Last modified: Monday, October 17, 2005

More instances of chronic wasting disease discovered
SALT LAKE CITY — Two buck deer taken during this year's Utah muzzleloader hunt have tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), the Division of Wildlife Resources announced Oct. 17.

The first deer was a yearling buck taken near the south end of Flaming Gorge Reservoir. This is the first CWD-positive deer found in Daggett County. Other CWD-positive deer have been found in the past just 20 miles to the south, near Vernal.

The second deer to test positive was a mature buck taken on the LaSal Mountains in southeastern Utah.

Both of the hunters who took the deer have been notified that their animals tested positive for CWD.

"We've tested approximately 450 deer and elk so far this year, and these are the only animals that have tested positive for CWD," said Leslie McFarlane, wildlife disease specialist for the DWR. "Nearly all of the testing has been completed on samples collected during the archery and muzzleloader hunts. We expect to collect nearly 2,000 samples during the rifle deer hunt that starts this weekend."

The Utah Veterinary Diagnositic Laboratory in Logan is testing the samples for the DWR.

The latest finds bring to 20 the number of deer that have tested positive for CWD since the disease was first found in Utah in February 2003. Fourteen of the 20 deer have come from the LaSal Mountain area, where DWR biologists estimate about two percent of the deer have the disease.

Of the remaining deer, four came from the Vernal area, one was taken near the south end of Flaming Gorge, and one was killed near Fountain Green in central Utah.

CWD is fatal to deer and elk that contract it. However, according to the World Health Organization, "There is currently no evidence that CWD in cervidae (deer and elk) is transmitted to humans."

DWR currently checked deer for chronic wasting disease
PRICE, UTAH — Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) personnel are in the process of monitoring the presence and prevalence of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the State of Utah. A small number of deer harvested in the state have tested positive for CWD during the past four years. Sportsmen participating in the general season rifle hunt, which opens this Saturday, October 22, are encouraged to participate in this disease monitoring effort.

DWR Wildlife Program Manager, Bill Bates, probes a deer's throat for lymph nodes, which are tested for CWD.

Testing for the disease is done by removing the lymph nodes in the throat of the deer. The abnormal prions (proteins) indicative of CWD tend to accumulate in these lymph node tissues. Lymph node samples from each deer sampled are sent to a laboratory in Logan and hunters can learn whether the deer has tested positive for CWD within four weeks.

Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that the disease can be transmitted to humans by eating or handling meat of infected animals. However, it is advised that hunters avoid consumption and direct contact with brain tissues, spinal fluids, and lymph nodes.

DWR personnel will be taking disease samples from deer harvested throughout the southeastern region. Hunters may encounter officers in the field or at check stations. Hunters who are not contacted and have questions regarding CWD can contact the Price DWR office at (435) 636-0260 during business hours, or (435) 820-8921 during non-business hours.

Castle Country hunters can have deer tested at a checking station behind the Walker's Truck Stop in Wellington between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. from October 22 through October 26.


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