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With a case turning up in northern Pennsylvania near the New York border, a top wildlife expert says New Yorkers need to be on the lookout for cases of chronic wasting disease among deer.
“Chronic wasting disease has increasingly plagued state wildlife and agricultural agencies with no sustainable solution in sight,” said Krysten Schuler, a Cornell University wildlife disease ecologist.
Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is a highly contagious disease that develops slowly in the lymph nodes, spinal tissue and brains of deer and similar animals like, moose, reindeer and elk.
It does not affect other animals and there is no evidence it spreads to humans.
But it is fatal to deer, causing a spongy deterioration of the brain, loss of bodily functions and emaciation.
The Pennsylvania case was discovered last week in a white-tailed deer on a Warren County hunting preserve. Warren County is in northern Pennsylvania, just south of the New York border in western New York below Jamestown.
Pennsylvania has 760 breeding or hobby farms and hunting preserves for deer.
Schuler noted that New York was the only state to have eliminated CWD after it was detected in the wild in 2005. Officials here have since taken pre-emptive actions in recent years, including banning the importation of live captive deer and intact deer carcasses.