Six new cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) are being reported in four counties across the state by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
The MWFP released that five CWD-positive cases had been discovered in DeSoto, Benton, and Marshall counties on Wednesday, with a sixth case being found in Claiborne County the next day.
The Claiborne County case was the first positive detection for the county. The buck is considered “suspect positive” through initial testing and will be sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories for a confirmatory test.
Samples from the additional cases, which were submitted by hunters throughout the state, are now expected to be tested at the Mississippi State University’s Veterinary Research and Diagnostic Lab in Pearl.
CWD is a highly contagious and fatal ailment among deer populations that damages portions of the wild animal’s brain and typically causes progressive loss of body condition, behavioral changes, excessive salivation, and ultimately death.
In all, there have been 315 CWD-positive samples recorded in 16 Mississippi counties since 2018, with Marshall and Benton counties totaling the highest number of tests over the past six years.
“There’s a lot to unpack around this and what has transpired since the first positive case in 2018. 315 positives have been found across the state as of last week. Experts agree this disease is the biggest threat to whitetail deer hunting in America. So, it’s a clear and present danger in Mississippi,” SuperTalk Outdoors host Ricky Mathews said. “Our MFDWFP commissioners have been briefed continuously. They are asleep at the wheel. This will be a teaching moment for Mississippi. What will our kids and our kids’ kids say of us if we don’t demand changes now?”
Additional counties with positive cases for CWD include Warren, Tunica, Issaquena, Panola, Pontotoc, Tallahatchie, Alcorn, Tippah, Claiborne, and Tishomingo.