Chronic Wasting Disease Spreads To Iowa

Editor’s Note: As predicted, chronic wasting disease will continue spreading throughout North America. The disease is spreading for many reasons, but the National Animal Disease Center (NADC) in Ames, Iowa may have created an additional vector for the disease to spread in that state. CWD has been transmitted to cattle in lab settings. Given the proven risk, will Iowa’s farmers and ranchers demand the truth and accountability? Will they demand an end to spreading biosolids on their crops because of proven prion risks (the unstoppable pathogen behind CWD, mad cow disease, Alzheimer’s, CJD, scrapie and other neurodegenerative disorders). Their lives and livelihoods might depend on it. 

Will Cattle Industry Admit Prion Threat To Livestock

The first case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a wild Iowa deer has been confirmed. The deer was reported as harvested in Allamakee County during the first shotgun season in early December. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is working to obtain as much information as possible about the infected deer to implement its CWD response plan.

chronic wasting disease research at CSU
Sick deer infect their environment, including soil and water. Prions migrate, mutate and multiply, which means that the threat to livestock and humans from multiple pathways is real. Iowa has a chance to be the leader in CWD management versus the mismanagement taking place elsewhere.

“We have been testing for CWD in Iowa’s deer herd for more than a decade and are optimistic, given the extensive data we have collected, that we have caught this early,” said Chuck Gipp, DNR director.

“The next step will be to focus our monitoring efforts in the area where the animal was harvested and work closely with local landowners and hunters to gather more information,” Gipp said.

CWD is a neurological disease affecting primarily deer and elk. It is caused by an abnormal protein, called a prion, that attacks the brains of infected animals, causing them to lose weight, display abnormal behavior and lose bodily functions.

Signs include excessive salivation, thirst and urination, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, listlessness and drooping ears and head.

The only reliable test for CWD requires testing of lymph nodes or brain material.

There is no evidence that humans can contract CWD by eating venison. However, the National Institute of Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that hunters do not eat the brain, eyeballs or spinal cord of deer and that hunters wear protective gloves while field dressing game and boning out meat for consumption.

Prior to the positive detection in Iowa, CWD had been detected in every bordering state.

“With CWD in all the states around us, we have understood the possibility of a positive detection in the wild deer herd for some time” Gipp said.

Since 2002, the DNR has collected more than 650 samples of deer from within a five-mile radius of where the deer is believed to have been harvested.

Prions are associated with an entire family of neurological disorders that are killing people, wildlife and livestock around the world. These deadly diseases are known as Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is “transmissible.” TSEs include Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, scrapie, chronic wasting disease and mad cow disease. The disease has killed many species of mammals including dolphins. Victims permanently contaminate the world around them with their bodily fluids. Once contaminated with prions, items cannot be sterilized.


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