MISSOURI — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) disclosed that tissue samples gathered from harvested deer in 2018 tested positive for the deadly Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD.

Chronic Wasting Disease is an infectious disease that affects deer and other members of the deer family, or cervids.

The disease can transmitted by direct contact between deer or by contaminated soil, food or water.

According to a press release on Thursday, the findings reveal that 28 more cases of CWD were found in deer from 11 counties including Linn, Macon, and Adair Counties.

Since efforts began in 2001 to combat the disease, the number of infected deer in Missouri to date is 103.

Jasmine Batten, Wildlife Disease Coordinator with the MDC, explained that some of the 28 new cases were found once the deer had been sent to a meat processor or taxidermist.

“Eight of the CWD detections were from hunter-harvested deer sampled by taxidermists or meat processors, who are all very important partners in helping us find cases of CWD,” Batten said, “of the remaining 20 positives, 15 were from hunter-harvested deer sampled at our mandatory sampling stations, four were from hunter-harvested deer sampled by MDC staff outside of opening weekend through our voluntary sampling program, and one was from a found dead deer.”

The next step for the MDC is to continue harvesting and testing deer within a one to two mile radius of where a recent case of CWD was found.

Batten was quoted explaining how continued harvesting and testing can help prevent the spread of CWD into other counties.

“Post-season targeted culling is a proven method of slowing the growth of CWD in a local deer population and, as a result, minimizing the accumulation of CWD in the local environment.”

For more information about Chronic Wasting Disease, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website.