Skip Navigation
MI.gov
Emerging Disease Issues - Emerging Disease Issues | MDARD/DNR/DCH/MDARD Emerging Disease Issues | MDARD/DNR/DCH/MDARD
Emerging Disease Issues | MDARD/DNR/DCH/MDARD
Email this Page
Share this Link on Facebook
Tweet this page on Twitter!

What is Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and Where has it been found

Description 

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a contagious neurological disease affecting deer and elk. It causes a characteristic spongy degeneration of the brains of infected animals resulting in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death. The infectious agents are consider to be neither bacteria or virus but rather are thought to be prions. Prions are considered to be infectious proteins with out associated nucleic acids. 

Distribution 

Where has CWD been found?  Click for a map 

The disease also has been diagnosed in commercial game farms in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Wisconsin,  Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada and in an elk herd in Korea. In Michigan, the disease was confirmed on 8/25/2008 in a Kent County deer breeding facility.

The disease was long thought to be limited in the wild to a relatively small endemic area in northeastern Colorado, southeastern Wyoming and southwestern Nebraska, but it has been found in other areas of the United States and Canada (see table below).
 

Occurrence of CWD in Wildlife:

 

State or Province

Wild White-tailed Deer

Wild Mule Deer

Wild Elk

Wild Moose

Alberta

x

x

 

 

Colorado

 

x

x

x

Illinois

x

 

 

 

Kansas

x

 

 

 

Maryland

x

 

 

 

Minnesota

x

 

 

 

Missouri

x

 

 

 

Nebraska

 x

x

 

 

New Mexico

 

x

 

New York

 

 

 

North Dakota

 

x

 

 

Pennsylvania

 x

 

 

 

Saskatchewan

 

x

x

 

South Dakota

 

 x

 

Texas

 

x

 

 

Utah

 

x

 

 

Virginia

x

 

 

 

West Virginia

x

 

 

 

Wisconsin

x

 

 

 

Wyoming

 

x

 

x


Where was the CWD deer in Michigan?
On August 25, 2008, CWD was confirmed in a captive 3-year-old white-tailed doe from a privately-owned cervid facility in Kent County. The owner sent the culled deer to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) for required testing.