PIERRE, S.D. – Chronic wasting disease (CWD) was recently confirmed in the counties of Butte, Corson and Haakon in western South Dakota, from samples provided by hunters.

One male white-tail deer from both Butte and Corson counties tested positive, while two male mule deer tested positive from Haakon County.

Twelve counties in South Dakota are now known to be infected with CWD, which includes eight counties added during the fall of 2019.

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal brain disease of deer, elk, and moose caused by an abnormal protein called a prion.

Animals in the later stages of infection with CWD may show progressive loss of weight and body condition, behavioral changes, excessive salivation, loss of muscle control and eventual death.

Chronic wasting disease is always fatal for the afflicted animal.