CWD in Nevada
by Joe Doucette
As expected, the results for the first batch of brain stem samples from Nevada elk and deer collected in 2002 came back negative for chronic wasting disease (CWD), according to Mike Cox, Nevada Division of Wildlife big game staff specialist.

"We are confident that CWD does not exist in Nevada and the results of our continued sampling reinforces that observation, " Cox said.

Chronic wasting disease is an untreatable, fatal neurological (brain and nervous system) disease found in deer and elk in certain geographical locations in North America. The disease attacks the brain and neural tissue and symptoms include staggering, emaciation and excessive salivation or drooling.

Based on studies done by both the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, there has been no evidence that CWD poses a risk to humans.

As part of the continuing surveillance effort to detect CWD in Nevada’s elk and deer herds, the Nevada Division of Wildlife (NDOW) staffed voluntary check stations the weekend of November 2-3, to collect brain stem samples from successful hunters.

One check station was at the confluence of state highways 447 and 34 outside of Gerlach. Another was scheduled for an area north of Winnemucca. NDOW biologists, wardens and volunteers were staffing the stations and asking successful hunters for samples of the brain stem. Samples need to be less than 48 hours old and kept cold.

For more information about CWD or any other wildlife questions, contact your local Nevada Division of Wildlife office, or the agency web page at

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