Almost 200 sample results have been received, and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Department  is reporting that none have tested positive for chronic wasting disease in three Northeast Louisiana parishes.

The LDWF has sampled 239 deer so far in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes, with 188 results back and no evidence of the disease in the state’s deer herd, according to a press release from the department.

The remaining results should be in soon, and biologists plan to sample 61 additional deer to meet the 300-deer sample size in a buffer zone which extends 25 miles from Issaquena County, Mississippi, where a deer tested positive for CWD in January.

This sample size will provide a 95 percent confidence interval that sampling would detect CWD at a prevalence rate of 1 percent, the release states. 

MISSISSIPPI HAS NOT DETECTED ANY ADDITIONAL CASES

Mississippi has also sampled in the area in its state and, with 275 results back, has not detected the disease outside the one case earlier this year.

In addition to the LDWF sampling, supplemental deer feeding in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes has been suspended as part of the response plan. 

CWD is a neurodegenerative disease found in most deer species, including moose, elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. It is infectious and always fatal. 

Deer infected with CWD can spread the disease even before symptoms develop. It can take one to two years for infected animals to become symptomatic. When symptoms appear, they can include emaciation, lethargy, abnormal behavior and loss of bodily functions. Other signs include excessive salivation, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, teeth grinding and drooping ears.