Chronic wasting disease confirmed in Henry County deer

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HENRY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A deer in Henry County has tested positive for chronic wasting disease, marking the ninth Tennessee county with at least one confirmed case of the disease.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said its staff responded to a call in Henry County regarding a three-year-old doe who was “thin and exhibiting strange behavior.”

Multiple tests confirmed the doe had chronic wasting disease, known as CWD, according to investigators.

This result changes Henry County to a positive status for CWD, while Weakley County is now considered high-risk. Carcass transport, feeding, and mineral placement regulations are immediately triggered in both Henry and Weakley counties.

“We have sampled over 800 deer in Henry and Weakley counties, far exceeding our testing goals,” Stephanie Durno Karns, TWRA wildlife health specialist said in a statement Wednesday. “The message to hunters in these counties is to know the rules around transport and feeding, get your harvests tested, report any sick deer you see via our website, and keep hunting. Hunters are our greatest ally in fighting CWD.”

There are currently nine Tennessee counties that are considered positive for CWD— Chester, Fayette, Hardeman, Haywood, Henry, Lauderdale, Madison, Shelby and Tipton counties.

Five other counties are listed as high-risk for the disease — Crockett, Gibson, Henderson, McNairy and Weakley counties.

All of the counties affected are in the western part of Tennessee.

CDW is a progressive, fatal disease of the nervous system of cervids, members of the deer family, including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. It causes damage to portions of the brain, creating holes in the brain cells and causing a sponge-like appearance.

The TWRA reports there is no direct evidence that CWD poses a risk to humans; however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends to have deer meat harvested in a CWD positive area tested for the disease and adds that meat from an animal that tests positive for CWD should not be consumed.

For more information on chronic wasting disease, you can visit CWDinTennessee.com.

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