MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries said a whitetail deer in Mississippi has been found with chronic wasting disease.
The deer was found in Pontotoc County, Miss., on Oct. 8, officials said. The finding means officials will expand surveillance rates in a 50-mile radius outside of the county, which would include Franklin, Marion and Lamar counties in Alabama.
The deer was a year and a half old male that appeared to be emaciated and acting abnormally before it was euthanized Oct. 8, officials said. A sample tested positive, and a second sample confirming chronic wasting disease came Oct. 30 from a lab in Iowa. It’s the second documented case in Mississippi. To date, Alabama has not found any cases of the disease within its borders.
Chronic wasting disease is a neurodegenerative disease similar to mad cow disease.
There have been no cases of humans getting sick from eating the meat of a deer infected with the disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. But officials urge people not to eat deer meat from an infected animal, and they urge hunters to test deer taken from areas where chronic wasting disease is present.