A hunter in Loudoun County killed a deer that later tested positive for chronic wasting disease, the state Department of Wildlife Resources says.

The adult doe was harvested in October during archery season, less than 10 miles from the closest detection in Clarke County and less than 2 miles from the West Virginia border. Loudoun County is already included in the state's Disease Management Area and the boundaries won't change based on detection of this CWD-positive deer.

Chronic wasting disease is a contagious fatal, neurological illness found in deer populations. This is the first case recorded in Loudoun County.

Hunters in CWD disease management areas can help fight the disease by submitting harvested deer for CWD testing. Testing helps DWR monitor the infection rate of local deer populations and map the geographic spread. This information is critical to helping slow the spread of this disease.

Please note that in all managed counties, the state has set up at least one refrigerator drop site for voluntary CWD testing. Information on nearby voluntary CWD testing collection sites can be found here.

At any point during the deer seasons, a hunter may drop off the head plus 4 inches of attached neck of a harvested deer at one of the drop sites.

Some local taxidermists and processors are authorized by the DWR to collect and submit samples on behalf of hunters.

Wildlife officials recommend waiting to receive test results before eating the venison. There is no evidence that CWD can infect humans; however, to keep risk of exposure as low as possible, experts advise not eating the venison from CWD-positive deer.

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