Case of Chronic Wasting Disease is reported in Mississippi

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 14, 2018

For the first time in the state of Mississippi, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks reported a case of Chronic Wasting Disease in a white tailed deer.

According to a press release from the department, a four-and-half-year-old white-tailed deer was found in Issaquena County on Jan. 25, that tested positive for CWD and died of natural causes.

As a result, MDWFP has immediately banned supplemental feeding in Claiborne, Hinds, Issaquena, Sharkey, Warren and Yazoo counties, until further notice, the release states.

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MDWFP Executive Wildlife Director Russ Walsh said CWD starts is passed by a prion, a deadly protein that makes its way to the brain of deer and elk and causes them to die over a long period of time.

“At the end, it makes its way to the brain and the prion makes Swiss cheese out of their brain,” Walsh said.

Some osymptoms include weight loss, a blank expression, drooling and wandering around in a pattern.

Walsh said a case of CWD has never been reported in humans but he recommends people to be diligent while outdoors.

MDWFP is currently investigating the origin where the deer acquired the disease and due to the ongoing investigation, there is risk of CWD throughout the state of Mississippi, until more details are available, Walsh said.

According to a release by the MDWFP, the first case of CWD was reported in Colorado in 1967 and has since been recorded in 24 states, Canada and two foreign countries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, in order for hunters to minimize the risk of CWD, the use of latex or rubber gloves is highly suggested when handling deer meat, avoid the use kitchen utensils for field dressing and have deer meat tested for CWD before eating it.

Walsh said until more details are available, he asks all hunters in Pearl River County and Mississippi to contact the MDWFP if they see a deer that appears to exhibit the symptoms of CWD without other signs of trauma such as gunshots or vehicle collision.

To learn more about CWD, visit and to report a case of a suspicious deer to the MDWFP, call (601) 432-2199.