Two Deer At Harpers Ferry Test Positive For Chronic Wasting Disease

The Park Service says this is the first time for CWD at Harpers Ferry.

Harpers Ferrry, WV (Photo from the   National Park Service )

Harpers Ferry, WV (KM) The National Park Service says two deer recently found at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park tested positive for chronic wasting disease. These deer were located in the Jefferson County, West Virginia portion of the Park, and found during recent white-tailed deer reduction operations and disease sampling.

Park Service officials say these two deer are the first at Harpers Ferry to test positive for this disease. Some deer found recently at Antietam and Monocacy National National  Battlefields recently tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological illness occurring in members of the deer family, including white tail deer, mule deer, elk and moose. It was first discovered in 1967, and has spread rapidly, according to the US Geological Survey.

There is no evidence this disease can infect humans, but the Park Service says venison from these deer should not be eaten. The venison from the two deer which tested positive for chronic wasting disease at Harpers Ferry has been destroyed.

The National Park Service says if visitors to national parks see dead wildlife, avoid contact with the animal and notify a park ranger. Also, visitors should keep their distance from wildlife, and avoid touching or handling dead or sick animals. Some diseased-causing organism, such as rabies, can be passed between wild animals  and humans.

Employees with the Park Service are trained in wildlife health, and use specific safety measures in dealing with a wild animal that died from a disease.

By Kevin McManus