A deadly disease that strikes deer now has made its way to Dubuque County. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources announced last week that a deer hit and killed along a roadway 2.5 miles southeast of Dubuque recently tested positive for chronic wasting disease, an always-fatal ailment that results in emaciation, abnormal behavior and loss of body functions. It marks the first time the disease has shown up in the county.
Thirteen other deer — eight in Allamakee County, four in Clayton County and one in Wayne County — also recently tested positive. Two other deer in Wayne County are suspected of having CWD, but test results have not been received yet, according to a press release.
“The way that this disease moves, these results were not unexpected,” said Todd Bishop, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Bureau, in the release.
The DNR reports that more than 6,800 tissue samples have been collected during the 2018 deer season, as officials seek to monitor the spread of CWD.
“The DNR contacted each hunter whose deer tested positive and offered to collect the meat and any remaining bones and tissue,” the release states. “Hunters turned over the meat in every case. The collected material was bagged, sealed, then disposed in a local landfill.”
CWD first was confirmed in the Midwest in Wisconsin in 2001. Deer with the disease have been confirmed in many Wisconsin counties, including Crawford, Grant, Iowa and Lafayette counties. Infected deer also have been found in Jo Daviess County, Ill. CWD was first confirmed in Iowa in 2013, and confirmed cases still only have been reported in Allamakee, Clayton, Dubuque and Wayne counties.