STRONG, Ark. (AP) — Chronic wasting disease has been found in a deer in southern Arkansas, near the Louisiana state line, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission reported Thursday.
The deer was harvested in the Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge in Union County and a sample has been confirmed with the fatal disease that affects deer, elk, caribou and moose, the commission said.
The source of the disease is unknown as the nearest known positive case was 120 miles (193 kilometers) away in Issaquena County, Mississippi, and is more than 200 miles (322 kilometers) from the nearest known positive case in Arkansas, the commission said.
“With this positive case being so far from any previously known source, we’ve already begun working on ways to gather more samples from the surrounding area to determine the extent of the infection in this part of the state,” said Cory Gray, chief of the AGFC’s Research Division.
Gray said the commission has also contacted the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to coordinate and share information.
There are no reported cases of CWD infection in humans, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which also noted that research has raised concerns that there may be a risk to people.