Zombie deer: Fatal infection Chronic Wasting Disease found in white-tailed deer for first time in Franklin County

LOUISBURG, N.C. (WTVD) — The first case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been confirmed in Franklin County, North Carolina.

This latest case of CWD was found in a 2.5-year-old female white-tailed deer.

CWD is a contagious neurological disease that affects deer and other similar animals. The disease is always fatal and was first noticed in North Carolina in March 2022.

Since then the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission set up special surveillance programs and special regulations to monitor the disease.

The commission has previously detected CWD in Johnston and Cumberland counties. However, experts warn the disease could be infecting deer in other counties.

“As we continue to find the disease in new counties, hunters should be aware that CWD could be anywhere.We need to continue to test as many hunter-harvested deer as possible to determine the distribution of CWD in our state,” NCWRC’s Wildlife Management Division Chief Brad Howard said.. “It is also essential that we understand how important it is to safely dispose of deer carcasses.Deer hunters must be vigilant and mindful of carcass disposal.The last thing we want to do is inadvertently move it to yet another new location. We continue to stress don’t give it a ride.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said CWD has never been reported in people. However, some studies suggest some non-human primates that eat infected meat or come into contact with body fluids from infected animals could catch the disease. Those studies raise concerns that there could be some risk to people. Since 1997, the World Health Organization has recommended keeping meat from animals with the disease out of the human food chain.

Leave a Comment