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Disease found in Mississippi Deer

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Disease found in Mississippi Deer
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Wyoming deer with CWD
Wyoming Game and Fish Department

At least two more cases of Chronic Wasting Disease have been found in Mississippi deer and 10 others that tested positive are in the process of being confirmed. MPB's Kobee Vance reports on what this means for animals and people.

Chronic Wasting Disease, often called CWD, is a brain-degenerating disease that causes deer to refuse to eat. Officials say the disease is spreading from surrounding states. Tennessee has already confirmed more than 150 cases this season. Bronson Strickland is a professor in Wildlife Management at Mississippi State University.

"When a deer becomes symptomatic of the disease, it really no longer behaves like we think of a wild deer. It doesn't run, walk, eat and generally behave like what we think a deer does. Probably the best indication is the animal is extremely emaciated."

Last year Mississippi confirmed 19 cases of Chronic Wasting Disease. Strickland says the best way to help maintain the population is to continue to hunt and take infected deer out of the equation.

"Nobody stop hunting, everyone hunts and kill deer. And turn in those samples. They actually, you know, made it liberalized the season a little bit more this year with hopes that some people may kill a few more deer than they may normally do."

The CDC says there have been no cases of humans contracting Chronic Wasting Disease, however, they advise avoid eating contaminated meat.
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks is attempting to test 10 thousand deer this hunting season.