Published Date: 2002-06-06 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Chronic wasting disease, cervids - USA (Colo.) (05)
Archive Number: 20020606.4417
CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE - USA (COLORADO) (05)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail, a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 5 Jun 2002
From: ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: Rocky Mountain News 5 Jun 2002 [edited]
A deer found dead in Jefferson County has tested positive for chronic
wasting disease (CWD), pushing the fatal wildlife illness to its farthest
point south and moving it deeper into the metro area.
The discovery validates long-held concerns that CWD could push out
from its endemic area of northeastern Colorado and move easily
through more concentrated herds along the Front Range.
A landowner west of Highway 93, near Leyden, found the deer dead on
his property last winter, then submitted the head to state wildlife
officials for CWD testing. Laboratory backlogs prevented the animal's
brain tissue from analysis until recently.
"This underscores that . . . no part of our state is apparently immune
from CWD," Gov. Bill Owens said. "All levels of government must
work together to stem the spread of this disease."
Tuesday, the Colorado Division of Wildlife said 3 road-kill deer found
in southwestern Boulder tested positive for the disease. That, along
with an earlier discovery of an infected deer in the area, brings the total
CWD-positive animals in that locale to 4 out of about 40 sampled, or
10 percent, said Todd Malmsbury, the Division spokesman.
Division officials believe the dead Jefferson County animal, a mule
deer buck, probably died of the CWD. Analysis of the brain indicated
the deer was in the latter stages of the sickness that eats away at the
brain, causing animals to stagger and starve.
Boulder County was previously believed to be the southernmost
extension of the disease. In March , Owens urged Boulder
County commissioners to reverse a policy limiting division biologists
to trapping and darting -- but not shooting -- deer on county lands to
contain the disease.
The infected Jefferson County deer was found in an area where the
deer herd is estimated at 7000 to 7800, the Division said. That herd
straddles 2 so-called "game management units" that cover northern
Jefferson and southern Boulder counties.
What's not clear is whether the Jefferson County finding means local
deer are infected, or whether this deer may have moved south from
infected herds in Boulder County, Malmsbury said.
On the downside, if other nearby deer are infected, the delay in testing
means the disease has had more than 6 months to spread without
notice. Malmsbury said the delay in testing was due to shifting testing
priorities, including the discovery of chronic wasting disease on
Colorado's Western Slope in March .