The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks began Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) sampling efforts on February 23, 2018 in the 5-mile CWD Containment Zone. Sixty-four samples were collected and submitted for testing. The results were returned on March 5 indicating all samples were “not detected for CWD”. In addition, numerous samples from purported sick and road-killed deer have been submitted for testing and these results will be shared upon receipt.
DNA analysis was conducted on the CWD-positive buck that was collected in Issaquena County on January 25, 2018. Results suggest the buck’s genetics match nearby free-range populations. MDWFP will continue to collect samples from the CWD Management Zone in an effort to determine the extent and prevalence of CWD in local deer populations.
CWD has been seen in 24 states, but this was the first case in Mississippi. The disease can only be confirmed through laboratory analysis, and there is no treatment for it.
Russ Walsh, the executive wildlife director for the MDWFP, said “Once a deer is dead, we can test the deer through the lymph nodes or the brain stem, but the only way to definitely know is to test it.”
Animals infected with CWD begin to lose weight, lose their appetite, and develop an insatiable thirst.