DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE: What is Chronic Wasting Disease?

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – On Wednesday, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) placed Woodbury County in a priority zone for deer disease surveillance.

The zone was issued after a deer was found on the south side of Sioux City that showed signs of Chronic Waste Disease (CWD). The DNR sent a tissue simple in for a follow-up test.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CWD is a prion disease found in deer, elk, reindeer, sika deer and moose that is fatal to all animals as there is no vaccines or treatments.

Prion disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that can affect both humans and animals, but no human cases of CWD have been reported.

The DNR recommends not eating any meat from a deer that has tested positive for CWD. They also provided people with warning signs of the disease.

  • Excessive salivation
  • Thirst and urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Listlessness
  • Drooping ears and head

The CDC has reported CWD in at least 24 states as of November.

Overall, the CDC said that the occurrence of free-ranging deer and elk is relatively low nationwide.

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