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From: TSS ()
Subject: Scale-dependent approaches to modeling spatial epidemiology of chronic wasting disease
Date: July 23, 2007 at 8:06 am PST

Scale-dependent approaches to modeling spatial epidemiology of chronic wasting disease

Special Report 2007

Disease Background And Motivation For Report

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) (Williams
and Young 1980) is a contagious prion disease
of deer (Odocoileus spp.) and elk (Cervus
elaphus nelsoni) (Williams and Young 1993,
Williams and Miller 2002), which also has
been recently found in moose (Alces alces)
(Kreeger et al. 2006). Although once thought
only to be endemic to northcentral Colorado
and southeastern Wyoming, CWD has been
detected in free-ranging and captive herds
throughout the United States and in two Canadian
provinces (Figure I.1). CWD is the only
prion disease known to affect free-ranging species
(Williams and Miller 2002), and currently
is found in is found in a growing number of
privately owned captive cervid herds. With
more sensitive diagnostic capabilities and increased
surveillance for the disease, new foci
continue to be documented.
Epidemiological investigations of CWD are
in a nascent stage and a thorough understanding
of the factors that contribute to the occurrence,
the onset of clinical symptoms, and the
transmission of CWD remains incomplete. In
addition to potentially reducing population
growth rates of free-ranging deer and elk populations,
which may have an economic impact
on wildlife agencies and cascading ecological
impacts, CWD has already had an economic
impact on commercial cervid operations and
may have a deep economic impact if it spreads
to livestock or proves to be a threat to human
health (Williams and Miller 2002).

(78 pages. ...TSS)

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