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Oklahoma wildlife department confirms second case of deer with Chronic Wasting Disease

Acton Crawford

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation confirmed a second white-tailed deer has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease.

The deer was found about 15 miles east of Woodward in Woodward County after a landowner reported the deer was acting abnormally, the department announced in a news release.

Chronic Wasting Disease has been present across the country and found in wild deer in every state that borders Oklahoma. The deadly disease affects the brains of deer, elk, moose and other members of the cervid family by creating sponge-like holes in their brains.

National Wildlife Health Center
U.S. Geological Survey

Oklahoma’s first case of an infected deer was confirmed the first week of June in the panhandle’s Texas County, which prompted wildlife experts to ramp up surveillance for the disease across the state.

“We will be working through our response plan implementing surveillance efforts and steps to monitor and slow the potential spread of this disease, said Jerry Shaw, OWDC’s Wildlife Programs Supervisor. “Our ultimate goal is to ensure healthy and well-managed deer with as little impact to either the resource or our constituents as possible.”

To learn more information about Chronic Wasting Disease, visit the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation website.

State wildlife officials have been monitoring the disease since 1999 by sampling tissue of hunter-harvested deer and elk as well as road-killed deer.

Transmission of chronic wasting disease to humans and livestock has not been documented. However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend people or animals eat any deer or elk diagnosed or showing signs of CWD, as a precaution.

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Xcaret Nuñez covered agriculture and rural communities for KOSU as a corps member with Report for America from June 2022 to September 2023.
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