State ramps up disease surveillance

Gathering a lymph node in Wyoming Game and Fish “ramped-up surveillance” for chronic wasting disease, a contagious prion condition. Low percentages of Wyoming elk and deer have it during hunting season. Prion contaminated meat can not be rendered safe by cooking or any other known means.

That’s because research by the department, in tandem with the University of Wyoming, was clear: if more than 30 percent of the deer in western Wyoming hunting areas, including the Baggs region where Patterson got his catch, had chronic wasting disease, it could be population-limiting,  ...

“It could be different for elk, but it’s probably similar,” said Stephens, who specializes in wildlife.

In Baggs, at least, where many Sweetwater County hunters go, an average of 0-2 and 2-5 percent of elk and deer herds, respectively, have CWD in a season.

“The focus statewide is on the western periphery of CWD expansion ...
And it may not be a good idea for humans to eat CWD-infected game. Macaques, or small monkeys, contracted the disease after eating the meat, scientists revealed in July.

A “misshaped protein” called a prion causes the disease. When the prion gets into a deer, elk or moose, the animal’s cells will “replicate” it,...

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