CWD Update: Mississippi detects two new cases

Published 2:29 pm Tuesday, October 24, 2023

JACKSON — Two new cases of Chronic Wasting Disease were detected Tuesday according to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks CWD dashboard. Hunters submitted 90 samples in the past week to bring the total number of hunter harvest CWD samples to 412 this deer season. 

Deer Program Coordinator William McKinley said the two new CWD detections were in Alcorn County. Since 2021, Alcorn County has had six positive CWD detections. Mississippi as a state has 210 CWD positive detections since 2018. 

Chronic Wasting Disease is a 100 percent, always fatal disease caused by an infectious prion. CWD prions are shed into the environment often in the bodily fluids of infected deer. Healthy deer can become infected by contact with these prions in the soil or contact with an infected deer. Prions persist in the environment for a long period of time long after a CWD infected deer dies. 

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Hunters are encouraged to submit samples for Chronic Wasting Disease surveillance. More samples are needed when there is low prevalence to find the disease and implement mitigation measures to slow the spread of CWD. Alcorn County for example has only had 419 samples since 2018 so there could be more positives on the landscape there. 

Samples can be dropped off at self serve coolers around the state or participating taxidermists. The closest drop-off cooler is in Hazlehurst at the Mississippi State Extension Service Office there. Lincoln County’s participating taxidermists are Brent Opdyke, Allen Morgan and George Wilson. 

CWD samples are tested at the Mississippi State University Veterinary Research and Diagnostics Laboratory in Pearl. 

Check back for more stories on Chronic Wasting Disease, MDWFP and the outdoors on The Daily Leader.