Pa. Total Up to 10 After Another Deer Tests Positive for CWD in Jefferson County

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture today announced a tenth captive deer has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in Pennsylvania since the disease was discovered on a captive deer farm in 2012.

The seven year old white-tailed deer died at a farm in Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, on Sept. 18, and tested positive for the disease at the Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory in Harrisburg.

Four Jefferson County deer farms where the deer had lived are under quarantine. Currently 31 captive deer farms across the state are quarantined, where deer cannot be moved on or off the properties. The investigation continues and additional herds may be quarantined.

There is no evidence that humans or livestock can get the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chronic Wasting Disease attacks the brain of infected deer, elk and moose, producing small lesions that eventually result in death. Animals can get the disease through direct contact with saliva, feces and urine from an infected animal.

Symptoms include weight loss, excessive salivation, increased drinking and urination, and abnormal behavior like stumbling, trembling and depression. Infected deer and elk may also allow unusually close approach by humans or natural predators. The disease is fatal and there is no known treatment or vaccine.

The first cases of CWD in Pennsylvania were detected when two Adams County deer tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in 2012.

Surveillance for the disease has been ongoing in Pennsylvania since 1998.

The Department of Agriculture coordinates a mandatory surveillance program for more than 23,000 captive deer on 1,100 breeding farms, hobby farms and shooting preserves. Ten captive deer have tested positive since 2012.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission collects samples from hunter-harvested deer and elk and those that appear sick or behave abnormally. Since 1998, the commission has tested more than 48,000 free-ranging deer and elk for the disease. Six wild deer have tested positive for the disease since 2013.

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