The state of Maryland confirmed their first case of chronic wasting disease in white-tailed deer back in February of 2011 and just recently confirmed five more affected animals this past week.

After receiving laboratory confirmation that five white-tailed deer harvested in the state of Maryland, the state’s total overall cases has risen to 11.  While four of the five deer were harvested in a chronic wasting disease management area, the remaining deer was taken near Cumberland, Maryland.  This case is the first documented case recorded outside of the chronic wasting disease management area.

“Chronic wasting disease is an unfortunate but inevitable reality for a small amount of deer in western Maryland,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “Given that this disease is now present in the region, our wildlife biologists will continue to work diligently to document and monitor its presence, which, so far, has been limited to Allegany County. We urge citizens to only consume the meat of deer that appear healthy.”

Maryland is yet another state that has reported CWD in deer populations this year and we hope it will be the last.  Earlier in the month, Arkansas confirmed cases of CWD in Elk and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department found a number of mule deer that had contracted the disease as well.