RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Chronic Wasting Disease has been confirmed by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries in 14 deer in Frederick County and two deer in Shenandoah County during the 2017 deer hunting season.
Fifteen of the deer were harvested by hunters and one deer was killed by a vehicle. Approximately 1,500 deer from Frederick, Clarke, Warren, and Shenandoah counties were tested for CWD during the 2017 hunting season. Since 2009, 38 CWD-positive deer have been confirmed in Frederick (35) and Shenandoah (3) Counties.
CWD has been detected in 24 states and three Canadian provinces in the 2017 season.The disease is a slow, progressive neurologic (brain and nervous system) aliment found in deer, elk and moose in North America which ultimately results in death of the animal. It is spread through urine, feces, and saliva. Symptoms do not appear for several years and include staggering, abnormal posture, lowered head, drooling, confusion, and marked weight loss.
There is no evidence that CWD can be naturally transmitted to humans, livestock, or pets, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises hunters to test all deer harvested from known positive areas and to not consume any animals that test positive for the disease.