More cases of deadly deer disease found in Mississippi

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An adult white-tailed deer, odocoileus virginianus, in a meadow in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — At least two more cases of chronic wasting disease have been found in Mississippi deer.

Two of the cases have been confirmed and another 10 cases that tested positive are in the process of being confirmed, according to Russ Walsh, the chief of staff for Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Wildlife Bureau.

Of the 12 new cases, 11 were found in Benton County and one was found in Marshall County, both of which border Tennessee, The Clarion Ledger reports.

Prior to Mississippi’s 2019 deer season, the state had 19 confirmed cases of the deadly neurological disease that causes infected animals to become listless and lose weight, among other symptoms.

Tennessee has seen 148 confirmed cases of the disease since its deer season started. That means it has had more than 330 confirmed cases since Nov of 2018, most of which are in the southwestern part of the state near the Mississippi border, Walsh said, adding that such data has led officials to believe north Mississippi’s cases are part of the Tennessee outbreak.

Hunters are encouraged to kill more deer this season, Walsh said. More kills means more samples for testings and the possible reduction in the spread of the disease, he said. The agency has a goal of 10,000 samples to be submitted this year. So far, it only has about 2,400.

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