Neurological disease is confirmed in Europe for the first time.
The fight against chronic wasting disease or CWD is ongoing and well-documented here in North America. But now, the deadly neurological disorder appears to have somehow made it across the pond. A reindeer (caribou) in Norway has just been confirmed as Europe’s first with the disease.
The infected reindeer came from a free-ranging herd in South Norway. The presence of CWD was confirmed earlier this month by the Norwegian Veterinary Institute.
CWD is a deadly neurological disorder that has been confirmed to gradually degrade the brain of deer, moose and elk. It spreads quickly through prions that can often be transmitted from animal to animal in close proximity.
In other troubling news, not only is the first case of CWD in Europe, it’s also the first confirmed case of any reindeer worldwide. The infected reindeer was an adult female and was first spotted during a survey operation using GPS collars by the Norwegian Veterinary Institute for Nature Research.
The reindeer was originally spotted from a helicopter. Vets had already been routinely collecting brain tissue samples for a while and testing them for CWD.
Much like many areas in North America where CWD has been found, the Norwegian Veterinary Institute is planning to do surveys to help determine the spread of the disease in the reindeer population.
It may have been the first case of the disease in Europe, but CWD has been prominent in the news in the United States for years. The most recent new state where the disease has been discovered is Arkansas and the news may actually affect hunting licenses this upcoming fall.