Pennsylvania agricultural officials reports a case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a captive deer from west-central Jefferson County, making this the 10th case confirmed in the state since the disease was discovered on a captive deer farm in 2012.
The seven year old white-tailed deer died at a farm in Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, on Sept. 18, and tested positive for the disease at the Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory in Harrisburg.
Four Jefferson County deer farms where the deer had lived are under quarantine and 31 captive deer farms across the state are quarantined.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CWD is a prion disease that affects North American cervids (deer, elk and moose) where it attacks the brain producing small lesions that eventually result in death. Animals can get the disease through direct contact with saliva, feces and urine from an infected animal.
CWD can be highly transmissible within deer and elk populations. The mode of transmission is not fully understood, but evidence supports the possibility that the disease is spread through direct animal-to-animal contact or as a result of indirect exposure to prions in the environment (e.g., in contaminated feed and water sources).
To date, no strong evidence of CWD transmission to humans has been reported.
The first cases of CWD in Pennsylvania were detected when two Adams County deer tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in 2012. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page