TRACKING CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE IN DEER HERD

To continue tracking chronic wasting disease in Pennsylvania, the state Game Commission since last July has tested samples from 11,373 dead deer, with 125 of those testing positive for the disease. 8,786 of the animals tested came from hunter-killed deer and resulted in 105 positives. Another 2,448 deer were collected from roadkills, and that goup yielded 14 positives. 139 came from other sources, and turned up 6 positives. Most of the deer that tested positive for CWD in the 2020-21 hunting seasons continue to be from Disease Management Area 2 in southcentral Pennsylvania… which includes Bedford, Blair and Fulton counties. The so-called Established Area in Bedford, Blair and Fulton counties has produced nearly 90 percent of Pennsylvania’s CWD positives since it was first detected there in 2012. Research has shown that once CWD sampling prevalence rates exceed 5 percent, infections can increase rapidly. 5 percent appears to be a tipping point. Last year, almost 6 percent of the whitetails tested for CWD in the area were found to be positive.

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