'Zombie Deer' Reported in Kane County

‘Zombie Deer’ Reported in Kane County

As of January 2019, Chronic Wasting Disease in free-ranging deer, elk and/or moose has been reported in at least 24 states in the continental United States, including Illinois.

The disease has also been found in farmed deer and elk.

CWD was first identified in captive deer in the late 1960s in Colorado and in wild deer in 1981. By the 1990s, it had been reported in surrounding areas in northern Colorado and southern Wyoming. Since 2000, the area known to be affected by CWD in free-ranging animals has increased to at least 24 states, including states in the Midwest, Southwest, and limited areas on the East Coast.

Once CWD is established in an area, the risk can remain for a long time in the environment. The affected areas are likely to continue to expand.

Nationwide, the overall occurrence of CWD in free-ranging deer and elk is relatively low. However, in several locations where the disease is established, infection rates may exceed 10 percent (1 in 10), and localized infection rates of more than 25 percent (1 in 4) have been reported.

The infection rates among some captive deer can be much higher, with a rate of 79 percent (nearly 4 in 5) reported from at least one captive herd.

The Centers For Disease Control lists Kane County as one of the Illinois areas with CWD.

According to the Quality Deer Management Association, there is no cure for CWD.

“Scientists are working to create a vaccine that can prevent CWD, but the work is slow,” QDM said. “An initial trial provided tantalizing hope that a vaccine is possible. Four of five deer given an experimental vaccine still contracted and died of CWD when exposed, but the fifth deer remains CWD free – the ‘first partially successful vaccination for a prion disease in a species naturally at risk’ according to the researchers.”

Illinois Counties With CWD

As of January 2019, there were 251 counties in 24 states with reported CWD in free-ranging cervids. This map is based on the best-available information from multiple sources, including state wildlife agencies and the United States Geological Survey.

SOURCE: Centers For Disease Control

  1. Boone
  2. Carroll
  3. Dekalb
  4. DuPage
  5. Grundy
  6. Jo Daviess
  7. Kane
  8. Kankakee
  9. Kendall
  10. Lake
  11. LaSalle
  12. Livingston
  13. McHenry
  14. Ogle
  15. Stephenson
  16. Will
  17. Winnebago

Hemorrhagic Disease Vs. CWD

According to the Quality Deer Management Association, the two most significant diseases affecting whitetails today are hemorrhagic disease (EHD and bluetongue) and chronic wasting disease (CWD). Many people confuse the two. Here’s a quick guide to the major differences between EHD and CWD.

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