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Chronic Wasting Disease

A male white-tailed deer buck and a female doe standing in a field. The buck appears to have 5 points.

Your actions matter!

Chronic wasting disease has now been found in both the Upper and Lower peninsulas of Michigan. We need your help to control the spread by being responsible stewards of the land, following current regulations and keeping up with the latest news.

What is Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)?

Chronic wasting disease is a contagious, neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose. It causes a degeneration of the brain resulting in emaciation (abnormally thin), abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death. CWD is fatal; once an animal is infected there is no recovery or cure. To date, there is no evidence that CWD can be naturally transmitted to humans or to other animals.

It is caused by a normal protein, called a prion, that folds incorrectly and can infect other deer. It is transmitted through direct animal to animal contact or by contact with saliva, urine, feces, blood, carcass parts of an infected animal or infected soil. Prions are extremely resistant in the environment and can stay infectious for years.

Learn more on the CWD Alliance website.

Additional resources and information

State Wildlife Veterinarian Kelly Straka and Deer Management Specialist Chad Stewart talk about CWD including the basics of CWD, signs of disease, how it spreads, the history of the disease, trends in other states, trends in Michigan and what hunters can do to help.