Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease that affects North American cervids (hoofed ruminant mammals, with males characteristically having antlers). The known natural hosts of CWD are mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, and moose. CWD was first identified as a fatal wasting syndrome in captive mule deer in Colorado in the late 1960s and in the wild in 1981. It was recognized as a spongiform encephalopathy in 1978. To date, no strong evidence of CWD transmission to humans has been reported.
The known natural hosts of CWD are mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, and moose.
- Page last reviewed: February 6, 2015
- Page last updated: February 6, 2015
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