Second CWD case detected four miles from Louisiana’s first

Published 7:57 pm Thursday, December 29, 2022

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TENSAS PARISH, La — Louisiana reported its second presumptive positive case of Chronic Wasting Disease was detected in an adult buck harvested by a hunter in Tensas Parish Thursday afternoon. If this positive sample is confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa it would be the second confirmed positive case of CWD in Louisiana. 

Chronic Wasting Disease is a 100 percent always fatal disease in deer caused by an infectious prion, a misfolded protein. Tensas Parish had the first case of Chronic Wasting Disease in Louisiana last year. 

Deer Program Director Johnathan Bordelon said the new positive was four miles south of the first positive which was near Yucatan Lake. 

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“Due to the close proximity of these positives there are no changes to the control area at this time,” he said. “We will continue testing hunter harvested deer from the control area and have a focused effort on Tensas Parish. We will have updated surveillance numbers early next week.” 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have had heightened concern and surveillance in Tensas Parish since Mississippi’s first case of CWD was detected in Issaquena County in 2018. 

Bordelon said this summer they prepared a CWD management plan for Louisiana over the past 20 years in case the disease was ever detected in the state. 

This summer, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted regulations for the CWD control area in Tensas Parish and portions of Madison and Franklin Parishes. 

Currently, there is no treatment or preventive vaccine for CWD. Infected deer may exhibit signs of weight loss and emaciation, salivation, frequent drinking, urination, incoordination, circling and a lack of fear of people. Center for Disease Control recommends people avoid eating meat from CWD positive animals, at this time there is no evidence the disease is contagious to humans or not. Hunters in an area with CWD should submit deer for CWD sampling before eating the meat and to aid the LDWF in surveillance to control the disease. 

LDWF provides testing for human harvested deer free of charge. Hunters can contact their local LDWF field office to have deer tested in addition to the seven CWD sample drop offs located within the control area. 

Testing for CWD is performed on the brainstem and lymph nodes of the head. The head and five inches or more of the neck should be removed and refrigerated for submission to LDWF. Skull plate and antlers can be removed prior to testing if desired.