Chronic Wasting Disease update: Sample submissions see slight increase, Warren County waiting for confirmation of suspect positives

Published 12:10 pm Thursday, January 20, 2022

NATCHEZ — Mississippi hunters submitted about 400 new chronic wasting disease samples last week to bring the total submissions this year to 4,594. There are a few more weeks left in the hunting season for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to hit its goal of 10,000 samples.

As of January 20, hunters in Adams County submitted 29 samples this season, Franklin County has 37 samples, Wilkinson County has 41 samples, Jefferson County has 59 samples and Claiborne County has 75 samples. Collecting samples are the only way the MDWFP can detect CWD and manage the disease. There is no known cure for the disease.

Last week, MDWFP Deer Program Coordinator William McKinley confirmed they detected a second case of CWD in Warren County. They sent the suspect positive to a National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Wisconsin for confirmation. Currently, Warren County is waiting on the results for its two suspect positives, McKinley said.

Email newsletter signup

Warren County’s two suspect cases of CWD were found three to four miles from the first positive case of CWD detected in Mississippi in Issaquena County.

Chronic Wasting Disease is a disease in White-Tailed Deer, Elk, and Mule Deer. CWD is caused by a contagious prion. For some deer, it could take a year or more to develop symptoms. Those symptoms are drastic weight loss (wasting), stumbling, listlessness, and other neurologic symptoms. Infected animals shed prions through saliva, feces, blood, and urine.

Other deer can become infected through direct contact with an infected animal and indirect contact from an infected environment. Once the disease occurs in an area, evidence demonstrates eradication is unlikely.

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.

Hunters can drop CWD samples 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.