The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is again testing deer taken in the state for Chronic Wasting Disease, or “C-W-D.” Jeff Joens of the D-N-R wildlife bureau says the testing is a precautionary measure.
Joens says the goal is to sample the entire state, with emphasis on counties that border Wisconsin and Illinois — including Allamakee, Scott, Clinton, Clayton, Jackson and Dubuque County — as the disease has been found in those states. Joens says in the three years of testing Iowa deer have turned up clean.
Joens says he’s not surprised the disease hasn’t crossed the border. Joens says they’re doing a good job in Wisconsin and Illinois of keeping the disease localized. And he says the disease mostly spreads among captive deer and there have been controls placed on the movement of captive deer. Joens says Iowa hunters voluntarily drop off samples from the deer they take to be tested.
Joens says they’re looking mainly for the older deer as it takes awhile for C-W-D to show up. Joens says you don’t have to worry about catching C-W-D if you see a deer in your back yard.
Joens says there’s no clinical evidence that the disease can be passed on to humans. C-W-D is a neurological disease that impacts the brains of infected deer and elk. In later stages, an affected animal is disoriented, lethargic, emaciated; essentially ?wasting? away. It is always fatal.