CWD Update: No new detections this past week

Published 5:50 pm Thursday, November 2, 2023

JACKSON — No new cases of Chronic Wasting Disease were detected this week according to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks CWD dashboard. Hunters submitted 165 samples in the past week to bring the total number of hunter harvest CWD samples to 577 this deer season. 

Mississippi as a state has 210 CWD positive detections since 2018, three of those were detected this year. Louisiana has sampled 419 deer this year and have not had any new detections since August. Tensas Parish, just across the Mississippi River from Claiborne County, has had 13 positive detections since first detection in January 2022. 

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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Mississippi State University is conducting an ongoing research project studying CWD prions in scrapes. One of the research scrapes was in Claiborne County and found CWD prions. MSU’s Deer Lab is continuing the project with additional funding from the United States Department of Agriculture Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service.

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. Samples tend to pick up with firearm seasons opening in Louisiana and Mississippi later this month. 

Hunters are encouraged to check in their deer on the MDWFP phone application or website using Game Check. Since opening day, 533 deer have been reported to Game Check. Data collected with Game Check can help biologists make better management decisions for specific areas.

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