The anatomy of Chronic Wasting Disease surveillance and management in free-ranging White-Tailed Deer in Illinois

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


CWD surveillance and management aim to protect the health of the free-ranging white-tailed deer herd in Illinois. The effectiveness of CWD management is defined by a state-wide commitment and dedication to monitor and participate in the mechanisms used to advance the protection of the herd. Chronic Wasting Disease is a critical threat to the health of the deer herd. There is no cure or treatment for this highly transmissible disease caused by an infectious protein. CWD leads to a slow and always deadly outcome. Due to the chronicity of this disease process and the severe clinical manifestations, surveillance and management require forward-thinking and the immediate implementation of control strategies. The sustained and adaptive efforts to CWD management are critical to the ongoing challenges of this chronic disease. Illinois uses passive and active surveillance and integrates management with active surveillance to control CWD. Here we highlight the nuances unique to CWD field investigations and emphasize the importance of the scientific process ranging from identification of the problem to the implementation of a response, and from collecting the quality data that guides investigation and intervention, to setting the surveillance process, to identification of risk factors, and the implementation of intervention. The control of CWD should consider the pathways of disease transmission and exposure, coordinate with trained wildlife and natural resource biologists so that management can develop the required logistics towards the implementation of realistic programs that can limit the growth of the CWD outbreak and the spread of the infectious protein.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMidwest Fish and Wildlife Conference 2020
StatePublished - 2020


  • INHS


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