Chronic Wasting Disease confirmed in Manitoba for the first time

Originally seen in Fish’n Canada’s Week in Review

Troubling news out of Manitoba this week as the first case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been detected in the province.

Chronic Wasting Disease is a prion disease that targets the brains of ungulates such as White-tailed Deer, Moose, Mule Deer, Elk, and Caribou. Reminiscent of Mad Cow Disease, symptoms of the disease include drastic weight loss, stumbling, and other strange behaviour. Although symptoms of the disease can often take more than a year to show, CWD is almost always fatal and there are currently no treatments.

Deer hunters animal lovers in Manitoba have likely been keeping a close eye on CWD stories from out west but, as of this week, it has officially made its way across provincial lines. According to the CBC, the disease was first found on October 14th when researchers euthanized an unhealthy-looking Mule Deer as part of a wildlife health surveillance program. This week, the cause of the deer’s condition was confirmed to be CWD.

In response to the confirmation, the Government of Manitoba is now temporarily suspending the hunting of deer in Game Area 22 until the situation is under control. This step is mostly precautionary and will allow researchers to evaluate the severity of the situation and determine if there are any other animals suffering from the same affliction.

There is currently no evidence that humans can contract the disease, however, a study back in 2006 that confirmed Macaque Monkeys could contract the disease through the eating of contaminated meat has led researchers to warn against consuming any meat from ungulates displaying CWD symptoms.

This excerpt was taken from Fish’n Canada’s Week in Review, our weekly recap of all things relevant to the Canadian outdoorsman. For more stories like this, check out the full article below and tune back in every Friday to catch up on everything you missed!

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