62 cases of Chronic Wasting Disease now confirmed in Tennessee

Tennessee wildlife officials have extended the deer hunting season in three WestTennessee counties where chronic wasting diseased has been detected. TWRA Executive Director Ed Carter called the number of cases detected as"unprecedented." (Photo: Richard Simms)

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Officials with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) report there have now been 62 confirmed cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Tennessee.

CWD coordinator Chuck Yoest with TWRA reported on Friday the confirmed cases come from samples taken in Hardeman and Fayette counties. TWRA expects more positive samples to come in from the area as there is heavy emphasis on sampling in the affected areas.

Since December 29, 2018, hunters harvesting deer on weekends are required to check the deer in at physical check stations.

Chronic wasting disease attacks the nervous systems of deer and elk and leads to death. There's no treatment or vaccine for the disease. It's in the family of "rare progressive neurodegenerative disorders that affect both humans and animals."

Wildlife officials have also placed restrictions on the transport of deer from Tennessee into Kentucky in response to the detection of CWD.

There is no evidence to suggest the disease poses a risk to humans or domestic animals. It is transmitted through animal-to-animal contact, animal contact with a contaminated environment, and with contaminated feed or water sources. It is the most significant threat to the deer population nationwide, as it is 100 percent fatal to deer and elk.

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