WEST OF MICHIGAN – As of November 17, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources had identified 11 confirmed cases of the disease in the deer since 2015, plus three others in which the existence of CWD was suspected. Less than a month later, that number has doubled.
Thirty deer from Clinton, Ingham, Kent and Montcalm counties have been identified as positive cases of chronic disease or "CWD suspect" cases since 2015.
Michigan State University is working on testing several thousand additional samples , so the numbers for this season of deer could still change, according to the DNR.
"CWD suspect" means that a deer tested positive for an initial detection, but has not yet been confirmed by additional tests. It is very rare that a CWD suspect is not confirmed as a CWD-positive animal, but it is possible, according to the DNR.
To date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in humans and there is no evidence that chronic attrition disease presents any risk to humans, either through contact with an infected animal or through the handling of deer .
DNR asks hunters "patience, probable delay in the results of chronic attrition tests
However, as a precaution, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization recommend that animals infected are not consumed as food by humans or pets.
In the municipalities of Douglass, Eureka, Fairplain, Maple Valley, Montcalm, Pine and Sidney in Montcalm County, and in the municipalities of Oakfield and Spencer in the county of Kent, the following rules have been established:
- Mandatory registration of deer at check stations within five miles of the towns within 72 hours of harvest beginning November 15. These include Flat River State Game and Howard City
- Mandatory submission of deer head for the test of a dead deer within 72 hours of collection 19659011] Removes restrictions on Point antler for the restricted label of the combined deer license in the nine municipalities.
- Antlerless deer can be tagged using the combined deer or deer licenses during firearm, muzzleloader and antlerless late seasons.
- permits for owners of five or more acres within the area of nine municipalities.
The DNR strongly recommends hunters who harvest deer in Clinton, Ingham, Kent or Montcalm Counties to try their deer for br. taking them to a deer control station.
"Hunters are our best ally in understanding the magnitude of the chronic disease of attrition in Michigan," said Chad Stewart, a deer specialist at DNR. "It is vital that hunters across the state continue to bring their deer to the tests and talk with each other about the seriousness of the situation and the steps they can now take to help limit the spread of Crohn's disease."
Since 2015, when the first CWD-positive deer was found, the DNR has tested approximately 23,000 deer.
DNR photo shows hundreds of deer heads that are tested for chronic wasting disease
From 2015 to 2016, four deer in Clinton County and five deer from Meridian Township tested positive for CWD.
So far in 2017, one deer tested positive in Clinton County and no deer in Ingham County tested positive.
In Montcalm County, it is suspected or confirmed that a total of 17 deer from the following municipalities are positive for CWD: Cato, Douglass, Fairplain, Maple Valley, Montcalm, Pine, Reynolds, Sidney and Winfield.
In the county of Kent, three CWD-positive deer were found in the municipalities of Nelson and Spencer.
Chronic wasting disease is a contagious and deadly neurological disease that affects deer, elk and elk. It causes a spongy degeneration of the brain, resulting in wasting, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and, ultimately, the death of the animal.
High rates of CWD in a population of deer could significantly affect the number of deer and could decrease the potential for older deer, especially the more mature ones.
Questions and answers: 13 questions about chronic wasting disease answered by DNR
Some deer can be sick for years without showing symptoms. It is transmitted through the saliva and other bodily fluids of infected animals. There is no cure for the disease, and once an animal is infected, it will eventually die.