Officials have confirmed chronic wasting disease in a whitetail deer in Issaquena County; this is Mississippi's first case of CWD ever.
A 4.5-year-old deer which died from natural causes Jan. 25 in Issaquena County has tested positive for CWD. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks states this is the first time an animal has tested positive for CWD in the state.
As many are aware, CWD is a fatal and contagious neurological disease affecting deer, elk and moose, with no documentation of any effect on other animals. The disease causes a characteristic, spongy degeneration of the brains of the infected animals. The result is emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death.
According to the MDWFP website, a new order is in effect, banning supplemental feeding in the following counties: Claiborne, Hinds, Issaquena, Sharkey, Warren and Yazoo.
Officials have now confirmed CWD in 24 states.Three provinces in Canada have also reportedly confirmed cases of the disease.
There's currently no evidence that CWD poses a risk for humans. However, public health officials recommend avoiding human exposure as they continue to evaluate any potential health risks.
Infected animals become identifiable as they begin to lose weight, lose their appetite and develop an insatiable thirst. They tend to stay away from herds, walk in patterns, carry their head low, salivate and grind their teeth.
Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks will be conducting a CWD Management Zone in hopes of containing the disease. Future plans include preventative measures and enforcement of regulations surrounding the spread of CWD.