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Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal brain disease of deer and elk that is believed to be caused by an abnormal protein called a prion. Animals infected with CWD show progressive loss of weight and body condition, behavioral changes, excessive salivation, increased drinking and urination, depression, loss of muscle control and eventual death. Chronic wasting disease is always fatal for the afflicted animal. The disease cannot be diagnosed by observation of physical symptoms because many big game diseases affect animals in similar ways. The origin and transmission of this disease among deer and elk is not well understood. There is no scientific evidence that CWD can be naturally transmitted to humans or to animals other than deer and elk.


Maps Showing Locations of Positive CWD Tests