The first case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Illinois was reported in Boone County in November of 2002. Since then, the disease has continued to trickle into the Illinois deer herd, mostly into the counties bordering Wisconsin. But now it's in Will County. A deer harvested as part of the Forest Preserve culling program was tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in the Kankakee Sands Preserve, east of Braidwood, Illinois. This is the first reported case of CWD in Will County, let's hope it's the last. As of June 2013, there have been 408 official cases of deer with CWD in Illinois. Other counties with CWD deer include Grundy (10), Kane (15), Lasalle (5), McHenry (15) and 1 in DuPage. The top infected Counties are Winnebago (145) and (Boone) 127.
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a disease of the nervous system that affects deer, elk, and moose. Caused by an abnormal protein, CWD causes degeneration of the nervous system. As the disease progresses, the animal begins to display abnormal behavior, weight loss, and loss of control of normal bodily functions. There is no hard evidence that confirms CWD can infect humans. But I wouldn't take the chance.
If you think you have harvested a deer with CWD, you can have it tested at various locations. Here in Will County, this can be conducted at the Des Plaines Game Farm in Wilmington. Afterwards, you can check the status on the DNR website. For a list of locations, as well as other information on Chronic Wasting Disease, visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Website.
If you see a deer that looks sick or emaciated and you suspect it may have CWD, you can contact the IDNR Wildlife Office at 217-782-6384.
The Illinois DNR has some great information and statistics on their website, click HERE.
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