Iowa DNR Testing Deer for Chronic Wasting Disease

By Brady Smith, Anchor, Reporter


By Brady Smith

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Iowa DNR is currently testing for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). It's a neurological disease affecting deer and elk, caused by an abnormal protein - known as a prion - that essentially eats holes in the brains of infected animals. In the latter stages of the disease, animals appear disoriented, lethargic and emaciated. They often exhibit excessive thirst, salivation, urination and drooping head and ears. It is always fatal to the infected animal.

Iowa has tested over 42,500 wild deer and over 4,000 captive deer and elk since 2002, when CWD was found in Wisconsin. Samples are collected from all 99 counties in Iowa, but most are taken in the counties nearest to areas where CWD has been detected in other states, primarily in the northeast counties.

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