State issued health alert for venison - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

State issued health alert for venison

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Chronic Wasting Disease is a neurological disease most commonly found in deer. Although extremely rare in this neck of the woods, the first case of the disease in Mississippi was reported last month near the Louisiana border. 

As a result, Dr. Paul Byers is advising hunters and non-hunters to take certain precautions, not only now but all year round.

 "Follow the precautions for how to process the deer and prepare the deer," said Dr. Byers.

For example, wear latex or rubber gloves when removing organs, bone out the meat from the animal, minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissue, and if you have your deer commercially processed, request that the meat be processed individually.

Additionally, he says, the only way find out if your meat is contaminated is do a necropsy.

"The meat that people have in their freezer right now, there is not a test that can rule out chronic waste disease in that meat," added Dr. Byers.

What is the likelihood that you can be infected? Dr. Byers says the chances are low.  

"There has never been a case of CWD reported in a person," said Byers.

And what about the deer themselves? What if anything can we do?

The number one thing we can do is observe. There are certain signs to look for.

The most obvious is weight loss. followed by behavioral changes. They walk in patterns and lower their head and they will stop drinking water.

Dr. Byers made it clear that there is no need to panic. But it's always best to be cautious.

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