Wildlife DiseasesChronic Wasting Disease
Chronic Wasting disease is a prion disease(an abnormal, transmissible agent that is able to induce abnormal folding of normal cellular prion proteins in the brain, leading to brain damage and the characteristics signs and symptoms of the disease. Prion diseases are usually rapidly progressive and always fatal.) that affects North American Cervids (hoofed ruminant mammals, with males charecteristically having antlers). Mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose are all known natural hosts of the disease. CWD was first identified as a fatal wasting syndrome in a captive Mule deer in Colorado in the late 1960's and in the wild in 1981. Determined to be spongiform encephalopathy in 1978, there has been no strong evidence of CWD transmissions
CWD is highly transmittable
within deer and elk herds. Evidence as to the specifics of how
it is transmitted have not been verified but speculation is focused
on direct animal to animal contact or as a result of indirect exposure
to prions in the environment through contaminated feed or water
The geographic range of the diseased animals includes 13 U.S. States and two Canadian Provinces and continues to grow. To view Nebraska counties where it has been reported, view CWD Reports.
In order to minimize the risk of exposure to CWD, hunters should:
Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) is a progressive, chronic bacterial disease caused when bacteria attack the respiratory system of primarily cattle, but also deer. The disease compromises the immune system and can lead to death from related causes. If left unchecked, the disease would likely spread and become established within the deer population. As a result of this, there would be permanent risk of continuous deer-to-deer or deer-to-livestock transmission of the disease. Bovine TB in animals typically presents in the lungs
As a chronic disease, Bovine TB can take years to develop. The disease grows very slowly and only replicates every 12-20 hours. The lymph nodes in the animal's head usually show infection first and as the disease progresses lesions will begin to develop on the surface of the lungs and chest cavity. In severely infected deer, lesions can usually be found throughout the animal's entire body.
How is bovine TB transmitted?