With increased testing, including mandatory checks on hunter-harvested deer in some counties, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks has confirmed 27 new cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the state. All 2020-21 hunting season confirmations come from the North Mississippi CWD Management Zone. One suspected case is awaiting confirmation from further testing.
Only two new counties, Alcorn and Tippah, with one each, were added to the list of positive tests.
The total number of confirmed cases in Mississippi is 81. The first case was found in Issaquena County in 2018 in a mature buck recovered from a deer camp in late January. It was confirmed in February. Only one other case, in 2019, has come from the Issaquena Management Zone.
Focus has now shifted to the counties neighboring the Tennessee border, and Benton County in particular. The 21 new confirmations there this year bring the county’s total to 54. That represents exactly two-thirds of the state’s total cases.
Neighboring Marshall County is second with 20, with four cases added this year.
Issaquena has had two confirmations, though none this year, and the counties of Alcorn, Panola, Pontotoc and Tippah have one each.
These totals were reported through Feb. 8, and the MDWFP is still conducting tests on animals submitted. A total of 6,033 deer had been sampled since July 2020, with the bulk during the hunting season.
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