Nine new cases of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) were detected in Frederick County during the 2016 deer hunting season. Seven were deer harvested by hunters and two were killed by vehicles. All of the new cases were detected in the same general areas as previous cases. In total, 22 CWD-positive deer have been detected in Virginia since CWD was first discovered in western Frederick County in fall 2009.
In 2015, the Virginia CWD Containment Area was expanded to include all of Frederick, Clarke, Warren, and Shenandoah counties. Approximately 1,500 deer from these counties were tested for CWD during the 2016 hunting season. The Virginia CWD Containment area borders are expected to remain the same for the fall 2017 hunting season. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) plans to collect CWD samples from the Containment Area on the first two Saturdays of the 2017 firearms deer season.
VDGIF appreciates the assistance of deer hunters in Frederick, Clarke, Warren, and Shenandoah counties for the excellent cooperation during CWD sample collection this past fall. VDGIF would also like to thank the cooperating road-kill contractor and deer processors for their assistance and looks forward to continuing these partnerships in 2017.
CWD has been detected in 24 states and three Canadian provinces. The disease is a slow, progressive neurologic (brain and nervous system) disease found in deer, elk, and moose in North America which ultimately results in death of the animal. It is spread through urine, feces, saliva, and other body fluids. 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 advises against eating meat from CWD-positive animals as research continues. Regulations pertaining to CWD, maps of impacted states, and more information about the disease and what VDGIF is doing about it can be found on the VDGIF website.