Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease.jpg

Chronic Wasting Disease
Chronic Wasting Disease
Mike Hopper, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

Commonly Infected Wildlife

In Missouri, deer and elk can be infected.

Is This Animal Infected?

CWD is a slow-progressing disease affecting members of the deer family (cervids).
Animals can appear healthy for many years before they show symptoms:

  • Lack of coordination and paralysis.
  • Excessive salivation, difficulty swallowing, unusual behavior, and emaciation.

Can I Get It?

As of 2014, there is no evidence that humans can be infected with CWD. However, research is ongoing to determine any public health impacts.

HOW BAD CAN IT GET?
As of 2014, no human health risk has been reported.

SYMPTOMS IN HUMANS
Currently, CWD is not known to infect people.

Protect Myself and Others

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that animals positive for CWD should not be eaten.
  • Avoid eating the brain, spinal cord, and lymph nodes from any cervid.
  • CWD has been found in captive and freeranging deer in Missouri.

Safe for Pets?

There is no evidence that CWD can be naturally transmitted to pets but, to be safe, animals that have tested positive for CWD should not be fed to pets.

What Causes It?

The disease is believed to be caused by an abnormally folded prion protein. CWD prions are infectious to other cervids.

Other prion diseases include Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) and variant CJD in people, and scrapie in sheep.

CWD is spread both directly from deer to deer and indirectly to deer from infected soil and other surfaces.

CWD Management Zones

See CWD Surveillance Testing Results

Donate a Tissue Sample from Your Deer

In This Section

CWD: Setting the Record Straight (pdf, 1 MB)

This three-page document clarifies misperceptions and corrects myths about chronic wasting disease in Missouri's cervid (deer and elk) populations and MDC's efforts to eradicate CWD in our state.

Protecting Missouri's White-Tailed Deer (pdf, 349 KB)

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is in Missouri. Be informed and help protect Missouri’s white-tailed deer.

Check the Code

This is NOT a legal document. Regulations are subject to revision during the current year.
Refer to the Wildlife Code.