LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — The Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has confirmed its first case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease impacting deer, elk, and moose in Loudoun County.
The CWD-positive deer was harvested by a hunter and dropped off for testing. DWR said they were able to confirm the positive case thanks to cooperation from hunters who aid in ongoing efforts to track the disease.
According to DWR, every year, millions of dollars are invested in determining if CWD could affect humans, however, they are still unsure of its potential impact.
“This disease is caused actually by an infectious protein. So it’s not a bacteria, or a virus, a parasite, or something else that we are more familiar with when we think about infectious disease…but at this time, the research suggests that humans are not susceptible to CWD,” said Dr. Megan Kirchgessner, State Wildlife Veterinarian at Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
Hunters are advised to test their deer before consuming. DWR has several testing facilities that conduct testing free of charge. For testing locations, click here. For more information on CWD, click here.