A white-tailed deer in Newton County, Arkansas has tested positive for chronic wasting disease, making it the state’s second recorded case of the dreaded disease.
A report from the Associated Press via the Washington Times shows that a second case of chronic wasting disease was confirmed by the state’s Game and Fish Commission on Wednesday. The deer was found in the same area where the first case of the disease was discovered from a 30-month-old elk, which was killed by hunters near Pruitt in October last year. The report shows that the disease does not only affect deer and elk but also wild animals, including moose.
Local wildlife authorities remain puzzled as to how the disease found its way in northern Arkansas. While there have been no confirmed cases of animal-to-human transmission, eating the meat of an infected animal is a sure way of acquiring the disease.
Local health officials are urging the public not to eat meat of an infected animal or livestock. Local officials are set to conduct sample tests in the area to assess whether there’s an outbreak of the disease.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the chronic wasting disease or (CWD) is a type of prion disease affecting hoofed animals in North America such as elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer, and moose. The first case of CWD was recorded in the 1960s, in a captive mule deer.
The CDC notes that there have been no confirmed cases of animal-to-human transmission of CWD in the United States since the late 1960s. The CDC adds that the disease is endemic to Colorado and southeastern Wyoming. However, there have been several cases of CWD outside of Colorado and southeastern Wyoming. But researchers remain clueless how the disease reached other areas such as Arkansas.