The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) late last week announced that chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected on a deer farm in Lincoln County, which is located in the north central part of the state.
The positive result is from a 5-year-old white-tailed buck. The farm has been placed on quarantine while veterinarians from the DATCP and the US Department of Agriculture conduct an epidemiologic investigation.
The new detection marks the third this year at a Wisconsin deer farm. Last month, the DATCP reported a positive CWD finding at a deer farm in Vernon County, which is in southwestern Wisconsin. In February, officials confirmed CWD findings in two deer from a farm in Waukesha County that had been in quarantine following an investigation into CWD linked to a Eau Claire County ranch.
CWD can spread among cervids like deer, elk, and moose and is fatal. The prion disease spreads through contaminated environments, antler velvet, and body fluids and tissues.
The disease isn't known to infect humans, but some experts fear it could cause illness similar to another prion disease, bovine spongiform encephalophathy ("mad cow disease"). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns against eating meat from infected animals.