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CWD Updates


About Chronic Wasting Disease:

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is an always-fatal brain disease affecting deer and threatening elk in Pennsylvania. This webpage is intended to provide the public with accurate and updated information on CWD and CWD management within the commonwealth. For more information on CWD in Pennsylvania, please visit the Game Commission CWD webpage.

October 2019

PA Outdoor Life's Don Jacobs talks about CWD with CWD Communication Specialist Courtney Colley.

Study finds household bleach can help disinfect prions. A recent study finds that household bleach can help decontaminate stainless steel knives or other tools of prions. Hunters can now soak stainless steel knives and other equipment used for processing deer for five minutes in a 40 percent solution of household bleach to deactivate the prions. Make sure that all solid tissue (i.e. meat or brain material) is removed from the surface of tools prior to soaking.

Sept. 2019, Statewide Response Plan Proposed

The Game Commission will be accepting public comments on the proposed response plan through February 29, 2020 .

July 2019, Wisconsin's World of CWD

Patrick Durkin, former editor of Deer and Deer Hunting magazine, writes about the history and current reality of CWD in Wisconsin. Article published in Game News Magazine, August 2019.

June 2019, CWD Myths

Misleading. Misunderstood. Misinformation. Learn about common CWD misses in this recent Game News article, Missing the Point on CWD

Human-Health Risks Associated with Chronic Wasting Disease

Recent statements by the University of Minnesota’s Michael Osterholm about human-health risks associated with CWD have many concerned about the likelihood of CWD infecting humans. CWD first was detected in Colorado in 1967 and it’s inevitable that someone has consumed CWD-infected venison since. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states there have been no reported cases of CWD infecting humans. With this being said, recent studies on non-human primates raise concerns that CWD might pose a risk to humans. Therefore, the CDC and World Health Organization also recommend people avoid consuming CWD-infected meat. In addition, the Game Commission urges hunters to have deer harvested from areas where CWD is known to exist tested. In Pennsylvania, free CWD testing is available within disease management areas during both antlered and antlerless hunting seasons. For more information on how to get your deer tested and recommended precautions for hunters, please visit the Game Commission CWD webpage.

Additional Resources Addressing the Human-Health Risks of CWD:
Information on CWD from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Deer Alliance Statement on Human-health Risks of CWD