Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an ongoing problem in Missouri.  44 new cases of the deadly deer disease were recently confirmed by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).

The monitoring, management, and testing efforts for 2020-21 was conducted by the MDC.  More than 15,300 tissue samples from mostly hunter-harvested deer for CWD testing was collected over the time period. Through that testing the new cases were confirmed.

To date the total number of confirmed cases in Missouri are at 206. Testing for chronic wasting disease began when the first cases of CWD were found in free-ranging deer in 2012. Since then the MDC has tested more than 152,300 deer.

None of the cases were found locally, but there were two counties that reported CWD cases for the first time-Putnam County with two and Pulaski County with one.

One confirmed case was observed as a sick deer was seen by several people in St. Genevieve and MDC was notified. The sick deer was humanely shot by the MDC staff and a tissue sample was submitted for CWD testing. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation the carcass was disposed of properly.

From the time a deer is infected with CWD until it looks visibly sick, it typically takes an average of 18-24 months. One of the big problems is that deer can spread CWD long before they look or act sick. There's a variety of symptoms, including dramatic weight loss, abnormal behavior, and excessive thirst, drooling, or urination.

The good news through all of this is all deer harvested through the post-deer season CWD management efforts that did not test positive for CWD were either returned to the landowner or donated to local food pantries through the Share the Harvest venison-donation program.

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