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Monday, September 05, 2005

Deer Disease Similar to Mad Cow Disease Found Near Virginia


A disease that is similar to Mad Cow disease first appeared in the Midwest. It is from a group of diseases that are characterized by spongiform encephalopathy. While not directly related to Mad Cow Disease, its presence near Virginia prompted the Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries to issue the following News Release:

Richmond, VA — The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) was notified this afternoon by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) that they confirmed the first known case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in West Virginia.

This is the southern most confirmed case of CWD in the eastern United States to date. The white-tailed deer came from Hampshire County, West Virginia, approximately 10 miles from the Virginia state line adjacent to Frederick County, Virginia.VDGIF biologists and staff Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Jonathan Sleeman had previously identified this region as a high risk for CWD due to the presence of captive deer facilities in neighboring states, including West Virginia.

The Department had already planned to implement enhanced CWD testing in Virginia in that region this fall.The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is activating its Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan, most recently revised in July 2005. The Department has had a comprehensive CWD surveillance strategy in place since 2002. Any confirmed case of CWD within 50 miles of Virginia activates the CWD Response Plan.

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