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Ohio Department of Agriculture | Animal Health

Chronic Wasting Disease

What is Chronic Wasting Disease?

The Ohio Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health's Disease Diagnostics Laboratory is working with the Ohio Departments of Natural Resources and Health and the USDA to test and monitor Ohio's deer herd for evidence of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

CWD is a progressive, fatal, degenerative disease of the brain affecting elk, mule deer, moose and white-tailed deer. CWD belongs to a group of related diseases called TransmissibleSpongiformEncephalopathies (TSE's), which includes diseases such as Scrapie in sheep and goats,Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) in humans. There is no evidence that CWD affects humans. CWD is not the same as CJD or BSE (Mad Cow Disease). TSE's are thought to be caused by abnormal proteins, called prions inthe brain. There is currently no treatment or vaccine available.

For the sixth year in a row, testing of Ohio's deer herd has found no evidence of CWD. State officials collected samples from hunter-harvested deer during the 2002-2008 deer-gun season. The samples were then tested by the Animal Disease Diagnostic laboratory. Hunter surveillance testing is completed for the 2009 CWD survey. All samples tested negative for both CWD and bovine tuberculosis. 
CWD Resources
  • 2010 CWD Results
  • USDA - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
  • Veterinary Services
  • Wildlife Services (National Wildlife Research Center)
  • Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance