Second case of Chronic Wasting Disease detected in Warren County deer

Published 2:18 pm Thursday, January 13, 2022

JACKSON — William McKinley, Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks Deer Program Director, confirmed a second suspect case of Chronic Wasting Disease detected in a deer harvested in Warren County Wednesday. McKinley said the deer were close to the Issaquena County line and would not change the CWD management zone.

Warren County is currently in the CWD management zone with Issaquena and Sharkey Counties. Mississippi’s CWD samples are sent to a National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Wisconsin. They will likely be confirmed positive cases of CWD, McKinley said.

In 2018, Mississippi’s first case of CWD was detected in Issaquena County. Another positive case was confirmed in 2019. Until December 2021, no additional CWD cases were detected in the zone. McKinley said people in Issaquena and Warren Counties might have fallen into a false impression the disease had gone away.

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“It’s important to get every animal hunter harvest tested. The disease was likely carried out by deer fleeing the floodwaters,” McKinley said. “The positives in Warren County are 4.5 and 3.5 miles from the Issaquena County Samples. CWD does not go away. It takes intensive management and effort to keep it at bay.”

Samples were down the last couple of years because of backwater flooding in 2019 in the area. Hunters did not harvest as many deer, and many deer in the area died because of the flooding. He said it is unknown if CWD spread through the floodwaters.

Mississippi Hunters have submitted 4,164 Chronic Wasting Disease samples for testing as of Jan. 13, 2022. Jefferson County has had 52 samples submitted, 28 samples were submitted in Adams County, Franklin County has 36 and Wilkinson County has submitted 31 samples. The MDWFP has a goal of 10,000 total samples this hunting season.

In counties considered a CWD Management Zone, like Warren County, the goal is to have 300 samples. Warren County has submitted 218 samples for testing as of Thursday.

Each time a hunter submits a sample for CWD testing they enter their name in a CWD raffle for a chance to win $1,000, and two people will win $500. Winners will be drawn at random after February 15, 2022.

CWD samples can be dropped off at testing locations in the Miss-Lou. Hunters in Jefferson and Adams County can submit samples at Natchez State Park located at 230-B Wickliff Road, in Franklin County samples can be dropped off at the US Forest Service office at 3085 US98 in Meadville. Wilkinson County hunters can drop CWD samples off at the Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Office at 1389 US61 in Woodville. Hunters can also submit samples through participating taxidermists.

CWD has not been detected in Claiborne, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams or Wilkinson Counties.