Published Date: 2004-01-21 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Chronic wasting disease, cervids - USA (CO, WY)
Archive Number: 20040121.0240
CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE, CERVIDS - USA (COLORADO, WYOMING)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2004
From: A-Lan Banks <A-Lan.Banks@thomson.com>
Source: Corvallis Gazette Times, 21 Jan 2004 [edited]
Chronic wasting disease static in Colorado, on the move in Wyoming
Tests on deer and elk killed by hunters show chronic wasting disease hasn't
moved into new parts of Colorado, but it is cropping up in new places
within Wyoming, wildlife officials said Tuesday.
The fatal brain ailment is found in northeastern and northwestern Colorado,
but hasn't turned up in the southern or west-central parts of the state,
Division of Wildlife spokesman Todd Malmsbury said.
In Wyoming, recent tests revealed cases in new places: near the Colorado
line and near Worland, in the north-central part of the state. The ailment
until now has been concentrated in southeast Wyoming. It was first found in
the state in the early 1980s.
Most wildlife experts believe the disease is spreading in Wyoming and hope
ongoing research can pinpoint how it is transmitted, said Michelle Zitek,
spokeswoman for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
Cases were also found late in 2003 in the Black Hills National Forest,
something Zitek said biologists had expected. The forest straddles Wyoming
and South Dakota, which 1st reported cases in 2001.
In Wyoming, hunters were asked in 2003 to voluntarily submit deer and elk
heads for testing. The Colorado Wildlife Commission has dropped the
requirement, saying enough people will voluntarily comply to allow the
continued tracking of the disease.
Chronic wasting disease attacks the brains and nervous systems of elk,
deer, and moose. Scientists say there is no evidence the disease can be
transmitted to humans or [other types of] livestock.
For decades, the malady was found only in northeastern Colorado and
southeastern Wyoming. The 1st known cases west of the Continental Divide
were found in 2002 on an elk ranch and in the wild near Craig in
northwestern Colorado. Hundreds of wild and captive deer and elk were
killed to try to stem the disease's spread in Colorado.
Wisconsin reported the first cases east of the Mississippi River also in
2002. The disease has also been found in Minnesota, New Mexico, Nebraska,
Montana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Utah, and Canada.
Slightly more than 200 of the 15 424 deer and elk checked in 2003 in
Colorado tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The number of heads
submitted was down from 24 652 in 2002 because hunters didn't kill as many
Malmsbury of the Colorado Division of Wildlife said the overall rate of
chronic wasting disease is roughly 5 percent in deer and 1 percent in elk.
The ailment hasn't been found in moose.
In Wyoming, 156 of the 6010 deer and elk tested were infected.
[Byline: Judith Kohler]