Chronic Wasting Disease found in Culpeper

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CULPEPER COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries found a deer that tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in Culpeper.

It's a slow, progressive neurological disease that causes deer to look frail and ultimately results in death of all infected animals — its mortality rate is 100%.

The disease has been detected in 37 deer from Frederick County and three in Shenandoah County since 2009.

The department said the deer tested positive after a taxidermist sent in a sample of the deer back in January.

Dr. Peach Van Wick, with the Wildlife Center of Virginia, said right now there is no hard evidence that the disease could or could not affect humans, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends to always get deer meat tested before consumption.

"The current recommendation from the CDC ... is that if you know a deer that you have harvested has CWD or was tested positive," Van Wick said, "then don't consume that meat."

Van Wick said this is a good example of why samples should be sent into the DGIF to better study how widespread the disease is.

In Virginia, 68 deer have tested positive for the disease since 2009.