Virginia Confirms 16 New CWD-Positive Whitetail Deer

If you don't know what CWD is, now is the time to educate yourself.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries confirmed Frederick County contained 14 deer with chronic wasting disease, while Shenandoah County contained two. This unfortunate news flew under the radar in light of the discovery of CWD-positive whitetail deer in Mississippi—the farthest southeast a deer tested positive for the fatal disease.

The disease is 100-percent fatal and there's currently no known cure. While it's unclear if humans can contract the disease from consuming venison, officials strongly discourage to eat meat from a CWD-positive animal.

Fifteen of the deer were harvested by hunters, while one died from colliding into a vehicle.

VDGIF tested an estimated 1,500 deer from four different counties in 2017. There have been 38 confirmed, CWD-positive deer discovered since 2009. Of those 38 deer, 35 tested positive in Frederick and three tested positive in Shenandoah.

The Virginia CWD Containment Area, which includes the counties of Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke and Warren remains the same for 2018.

Officials plan to collect data the first two Saturdays of rifle season in Virginia.

CWD spreads through feces, urine and saliva. It attacks the brain and nervous systems of deer, elk and moose. Sometimes, symptoms don't manifest themselves for several years. Symptoms include drooling, confusion, weight loss and staggering among others.

Likewise, if you witness a deer with these symptoms, please contact your local wildlife agency. It could save whitetail deer in your region.

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