CWD and Human Health
A growing concern among hunters is the outbreak of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in some areas of the state. While the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission remains concerned about the spread of the disease and is continually refining strategies for monitoring, containing and eliminating it from the state, it's important to note that CWD has not been shown to be infectious to humans. CWD in wild deer, to date, has been found in 78 animals, all except two, in the Panhandle. Several of those animals were found in close proximity to a northern Sioux County captive game ranch that had a high rate of infection among captive deer.
Still, some hunters are concerned about the disease and its potential impact on human health. Below are a number of points that should be kept in mind when assessing CWD.
- The World Health Organization and the U. S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention have found no scientific evidence to date that CWD can be transmitted to humans.
- CWD-infected deer and elk have existed in areas of Colorado and Wyoming for more than 40 years, with no apparent association between CWD and any human disease. The incidence of the human form of this disease (CJD) in this area has remained at the expected normal rate of one case per one million people. This includes processors, taxidermists, and researchers who have handled hundreds of CWD-infected animals.
- Scrapie (the form of the disease found in domestic sheep) has been present in domestic sheep for more than 400 years, with no evidence of transmission to humans even though, historically, scrapie-infected sheep were slaughtered and the meat sold for consumption.
- Incidence of CJD in humans in Wisconsin occurs annually at the same rate of one case per one million people, the same as elsewhere.
- The three deaths reported from Wisconsin that some media hype attributed to CWD occurred years before CWD was found in Wisconsin. One of these individuals died from CJD (in 1992), one from Pick's disease (in 1992), a totally unrelated brain disease, and one from other causes. Additionally, all three fit the classic age bracket for CJD cases. The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia has been unable to connect these deaths to CWD.
- Three of the top researchers on CWD have lived in and hunted in the known CWD area for more than 25 years. They continue to hunt in those areas and consume the venison of animals they harvest after testing for CWD.
Even still, the Commission strongly recommends that hunters not eat the meat of any animal that appears sick. The classic symptoms of CWD include emaciation, loss of bodily control, excessive salivation and water consumption and listlessness. If hunters see an animal displaying these or other symptoms of illness, do not shoot the animal. Note its location as precisely as possible and contact the Commission or a Conservation Officer so that Commission staff can investigate. Just because it is exhibiting these signs does not automatically mean that the animal has CWD, it could have a number of other diseases.
Each year, the Commission will ask hunters checking deer in the endemic area to voluntarily submit the heads of animals taken for CWD testing. We will notify hunters when test results are available. Additionally, the Commission will seek voluntary submission of at least 100 heads in each of the remaining management units.
Participating Veterinary Clinics
|City||Organization Name||Work Phone|
|Alda||Platte Valley Vet Hospital||(308) 381-8049|
|Atkinson||Atkinson Veterinary Clinic||(402) 925-5110|
|Auburn||Town & Country Vet Clinic||(402) 274-3336|
|Battle Creek||Two Town Vet Clinics||(402) 675-5300|
|Benkelman||Twin Forks Vet Clinic||(308) 423-2895|
|Bertrand||Bertrand Veterinary Clinic||(308) 472-5039|
|Burwell||Burwell Veterinary Hospital||(308) 346-4145|
|Chambers||Chambers Veterinary Clinic||(402) 482-5760|
|Columbus||Twin Rivers Vet Clinic||(402) 562-8387|
|Cortland||Willow Creek Veterinary Service||(402) 798-7010|
|Cozad||Cozad Vet Clinic||(308) 784-4200|
|David City||Bar S Vet Clinic||(402) 367-3036|
|Falls City||Animal Health Ctr.||(402) 245-4438|
|Farnam||Stock-Aid Vet Clinic||(308) 569-2360|
|Fremont||Animal Medical Clinic||(402) 721-3033|
|Grant||Perkins County Vet Hospital||(308) 352-2630|
|Kearney||Glenwood Vet Clinic||(308) 234-1475|
|Leigh||Leigh Vet Clinic||(402) 487-2825|
|Lincoln||Lancaster Equine Clinic||(402) 782-2215|
|Lincoln||Animal Haven Pet Hosp.||(402) 467-1944|
|Lincoln||UN-L Veterinary Diagnostic Center||(402) 472-1434|
|North Platte||North Platte Vet Clinic||(308) 532-0366|
|Palmer||Palmer Vet Clinic||(308) 894-5125|
|Pawnee City||Pawnee Animal Clinic||(402) 852-2251|
|Rushville||Beguin Veterinary Service||(308) 327-2869|
|Schuyler||Valley Veterinary Clinic||(402) 352-2625|
|Schuyler||Schuyler Veterinary Clinic||(402) 352-3456|
|Sidney||Sidney Vet Hospital PC||(308) 254-2939|
|St. Paul||St. Paul Veterinary Clinic||(308) 754-4222|
|Stapleton||Logan County Vet Clinic PC||(308) 636-2466|
|Wahoo||Wahoo Animal Hospital||(402) 443-4880|
|Wahoo||Walnut Street Vet Clinic||(402) 480-3393|
|Wauneta||Southwestern Vet Services||(308) 394-5740|
Fair St. & E. Campus Loop
Lincoln, NE 68583-0907
Phone: (402) 472-1434
COST: $29.50 (plus extraction cost)
1174 Snowy Range Road
Larime, WY 82070
Phone: (307) 742-6638
|COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY DIAGNOSTIC LABORATORY|
300 W. Drake RD., RM. E 100
FT. COLLINS, CO 80526
Phone: (970) 491-1281