Chronic wasting disease detected in deer for first time in Tazewell County

Whitetail (David Kenyon, Copyright 2004 State of Michigan)

TAZEWELL COUNTY, Va. – The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources is alerting the public of a confirmed case of chronic wasting disease in an adult male deer legally harvested in Tazewell County.

DWR officials said the deer, harvested in Nov. 2023, marks the first confirmed case of CWD in Tazewell County.

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The deer was brought to a taxidermist in December, and DWR obtained a sample soon after as part of statewide CWD surveillance efforts. At the time of harvest, no outward signs of CWD were noted, and officials said the deer appeared to be in good condition.

The department said it’s working to determine the best measures to take in addressing the presence of chronic wasting disease in the county. Once the measures are determined, they will be released to the public — detailed in the annual hunting laws digest and posted on the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources website.

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal, neurological disease of deer, elk, and moose. According to the DWR website, the possible impacts of CWD to white-tailed deer populations in Virginia are a serious concern, but the disease has not been shown to pose a health risk to humans or domestic animals.

For more information on the disease, click here.

About the Author

Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.

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