The West Virginia DNR reported that a total of 11 deer taken during the spring collection period have tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease, a number which seems high in comparison to the number of prior reported cases.
All of the positive deer came from the Slanesville/Augusta area of Hampshire County. There were no positive tests from the Yellow Springs area, which had a positive CWD deer during the 2007 firearms season. This was the first case outside of the CWD containment area, the portion of Hampshire County located north of U.S. 50.
Prior to this spring, CWD had been confirmed in a total of 19 deer in Hampshire County in three years. Four of the five positive deer from last fall's hunting season were taken within the containment area. But a fifth positive deer was killed outside that area.
CWD is a neurological disease found in deer and elk. CWD is thought to be caused by abnormal, proteinaceous particles called prions that slowly attack the brain of infected deer and elk, causing the animals to become emaciated, display erratic or abnormal behavior and eventually die.