Public Message About CWD and Creuztfeldt-Jakob Disease

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Some Arizona Game and Fish Department customers have called us because they have heard rumors that a hunting guide diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease may have gotten the disease from handling a hunter-killed elk in Game Management Unit 2B.

The rumor is that Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease can be caused by a wildlife disease that affects deer and elk called chronic wasting disease.

All available science shows that there is no cause-and-effect relationship between these two diseases. Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease occurs randomly in humans. Chronic wasting disease is a wildlife disease.

Chronic wasting disease has not been found in Arizona The Arizona Game and Fish Department initiated a surveillance program for chronic wasting disease in 1998 and has sampled 3,511 deer and elk. No cases of chronic wasting disease have been found in Arizona.

What is Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease?

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease is a disease that occurs randomly in humans. There are two forms of it: conventional and variant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says conventional Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease occurs throughout the world in one out of every one million people over the age of 65. Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease has been associated with a disease found in domestic livestock called Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE or "mad cow disease").

There is no evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship between either conventional Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease or variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and chronic wasting disease.

Enjoy the sport of hunting

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reviewed the best available research and says there’s no evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship between chronic wasting disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. In two states where chronic wasting disease has been present in wildlife for years, Colorado and Wyoming, there has not been an increase in the incidence of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in humans.