The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has reported the first case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Fairfax County, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has identified five more suspected cases in Tensas Parish.
In a press release issued earlier this week, the Virginia DWR reported that a hunter-harvested adult male deer tested positive for CWD. As part of its surveillance program, the DWR tested a sample from the buck after the hunter took it to a taxidermist in late October 2022. "At the time of harvest, no outward signs of disease were noted, and the deer appeared to be in good condition," the release said.
From 2009 to 2022, Virginia reported 134 CWD cases. CWD, a fatal prion disease that affects cervids such as deer, elk, and moose, has been found in 30 US states, four Canadian provinces, northern Europe, and South Korea.
Total in Tensas Parish, Louisiana, rises to 7
Louisiana has added another five suspected CWD cases in deer to the two previously reported in Tensas Parish, according to an LDWF press release.
Samples from the three does and two bucks, which were hunted on private land, are being tested at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. The two previous cases were reported in 2022.
While there is no evidence of CWD transmission to humans, experts remained concerned about a potential interspecies jump. As a result, both the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization advise against consuming venison from infected deer. People who hunt in areas with previous CWD cases should have their deer tested for the disease before eating the meat, the release said.