The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

March 1, 2013

Pa. officials confirm wasting disease in wild deer

HARRISBURG — Chronic wasting disease has been found for the first time in the state’s wild deer population, nearly five months after it initially was identified in captive deer, the Pennsylvania Game Commission said Friday.

Three deer killed by hunters last fall in Blair and Bedford counties tested positive for the neurological illness, which is contagious and fatal among deer, elk and moose. There is no evidence it can be transmitted to humans.

The animals were the first free-ranging deer to test positive since the state began monitoring for the disease in 1998. The Game Commission plans to discuss the issue at a news conference Monday.

Until now, chronic wasting disease had been identified only in captive deer in Pennsylvania.

Two animals died of the illness last fall on an Adams County farm, the first cases ever reported in the state.

Since then, about 5,000 deer have been tested for the disease statewide, officials said in a statement Friday. Most results came back negative, although 1,500 samples are still pending.

It’s unclear how hunting regulations and other deer policies might be affected by the findings. A state task force has been working to educate hunters and stop the illness from spreading.

“We will continue to work diligently with the Department of Agriculture and other members of the task force to better manage the threat of this disease to the state’s captive and wild deer populations,” commission Executive Director Carl Roe said in a statement.

Chronic wasting disease was first discovered in Colorado captive mule deer in 1967. Pennsylvania is the 23rd state to have confirmed cases of the illness.

Symptoms include weight loss, excessive salivation, increased drinking and urination, and abnormal behavior such as stumbling, trembling and depression. There is no cure or vaccine.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Flower2 Flowers' color doesn't have to fade

    Those pots of bright yellow daffodils, Easter lilies and hyacinths gracing the home this weekend do not have to end up in the trash bin when the blooms start to fade.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Refinancing could lower Richland School District's debt by $2.2M

    When Richland School District borrowed funds for its high school project a decade ago, board members circled “2014” on their calendars as a likely first option to refinance the debt.

    April 20, 2014

  • Pipeline to carry shale byproducts

    An 8-inch transmission line crossing Pennsylvania, including four municipalities in Cambria County, is being repurposed to carry some of the by-products from Marcellus and Utica shale production.

    April 20, 2014

  • Judge Creany, Timothy Vets courts gain support

    Signs of success are mostly anecdotal in Pennsylvania’s special courts for veterans, but judicial officials and lawmakers are so convinced of the program, they’re lobbying to expand it.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • pow21 Person of the Week: ‘I wanted to help’: Teen uses birthday to show love for children, animals

    Anastasia Machik’s love for children and animals inspired her to forgo her birthday gifts for the sake of the two.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Students taking steps to call attention to child abuse

    An upcoming community walk will help raise awareness of child abuse.

    April 20, 2014

  • In brief: PennDOT reports weekly work schedule

    April 20, 2014

  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014

  • Homicides linked to center

    Three homicides that took place in Johnstown last year involved either a suspect or victim who previously resided in the Community Corrections Center.
    Police Chief Craig Foust confirmed the name of one victim, who spent almost two months in the facility on Washington Street during 2007, a time period verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

    April 19, 2014

Poll

Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads