We have covered the on-going Chronic Wasting Disease situation in West Virginia for several years now. The latest update from the West Virginia DNR is that a total of 11 deer taken during the spring collection period tested positive for CWD.
With CWD being found in neighboring states, Maryland wildlife managers have been actively testing deer to confirm that the Maryland herd was still free of CWD. Maryland officials are reporting that 983 deer taken during the 2007-2008 hunting seasons were tested and shown to be negative. Over the past six years, more than 4,600 deer from Maryland have been tested and all tests have been negative for CWD.
In response to the confirmed CWD cases in Hampshire County, West Virginia, Maryland biologists collected 105 samples in nearby Allegany County during the 2007-2008 seasons. All samples tested negative.
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 progressively become emaciated and display erratic or abnormal behavior, eventually resulting in the death of the infected animal.