Tracking Chronic Wasting Disease in Virginia

Since 2002, ~ 12,000 deer in Virginia have been tested for chronic wasting disease. VDGIF has diagnosed 38 positive cases of chronic wasting disease in Virginia between 2009 and 2018.

CWD Positive Deer in Virginia
2009 1 doe, Frederick Co
2010 1 buck, Frederick Co
2011 1 doe, 1 buck, Frederick Co
2012 1 buck, Frederick Co
2013 1 doe, 1 buck, Frederick Co
2014 2 bucks, Frederick Co;
1 buck, Shenandoah Co
2015 2 bucks, 1 doe, Frederick Co
2016 7 bucks, 2 does, Frederick Co
2017 1 buck, 1 doe, Shenandoah Co;
9 bucks, 5 does, Frederick Co

Above: A deer is checked and sampled at a CWD sampling station. Photo credit: DGIF

None of the CWD-positive deer that have been harvested by hunters in Virginia exhibited clinical signs of CWD. Between 2005 and 2017, over 200 cases of CWD have been found nearby in West Virginia. At least two positive deer killed by hunters in West Virginia showed signs of illness prior to harvesting. Deer infected with CWD can take several years to display symptoms, and are infectious during that time.

Below is a summary of CWD Surveillance efforts in Virginia since 2005.

The map below shows the location of Virginia’s CWD-positive deer from 2009 to 2017. During the first few years of Virginia’s CWD outbreak infected deer were found small cluster located very close to the West Virginia state line. In 2013 and 2014 infected deer were found several miles southeast of the established cluster. Since then the disease has spread along the Virginia-West Virginia state line and also further southeast across Frederick County.

In 2009, VDGIF established a Containment Area (CA) to help delineate mandatory sampling requirements, liberalized bag limits and seasons, and carcass movement restrictions. The CA was expanded in 2015 to include all of Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah, and Warren Counties.

All hunters in the Containment Area who harvest a deer on the first two Saturdays of the general firearms season will be required to take their deer to a CWD Check Station for tissue sample collection. Hunters who take deer on other days of the season and wish to have their deer tested may drop off the head at any of the VDGIF refrigerator drop-points at any time during the deer hunting season.

Please refer to the main page for a current listing of CWD sampling stations and refrigerated head-drop locations.