The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

5023.3: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - Board 5

Abstract #70648

Exploring the zoonotic potential of chronic wasting disease in Wyoming: Creating a hunter registry

Angela M. Coss, MS1, Scott A Seys, MPH1, Joslyn D Cassady, PhD2, Walter E Cook, DVM3, Richard Johnson3, Ermias D. Belay, MD4, and Lawrence B. Schonberger, MD, MPH4. (1) Epidemiology Section, Wyoming Department of Health, 2300 Capitol Avenue, Fourth Floor, Cheyenne, WY 82002, 307-777-8709,, (2) Wyoming Department of Health, Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, CDC, 2300 Capitol Avenue, Cheyenne, WY 82002, (3) Wyoming Game and Fish Department, 1174 Snowy Range Road, Laramie, WY 82070, (4) DVRD/NCID, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Mailstop A-39, Atlanta, GA 30333

Background: Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) of deer and elk, is endemic in a tri-corner area in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. Although limited scientific evidence suggests that CWD is not causing disease in humans, more epidemiologic and laboratory studies are needed. The incidence of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) and other emerging prion diseases in Wyoming hunters is of national interest given that hunters and their families may have been exposed to prion-infected cervids for the last three decades. Methods: We discussed strategies and explored existing databases to set up a system for monitoring the potential zoonotic transmission of CWD among hunters who harvested deer and elk in Wyoming. Results: We established a retrospective and prospective registry of both in-state and out-of-state hunters who purchased licenses to hunt deer and elk in Wyoming. Information collected included name, birth date, and type of license purchased. The limited quota licenses are of special interest because they correspond with geographically specific areas, allowing for the identification of individuals who may have hunted in CWD endemic areas. We determined that this registry can be cross-checked annually with the National Death Index to learn about the hunters’ vital status and cause of death. Conclusions: The registry will allow for the monitoring and epidemiologic follow-up of deaths resulting from a suspected TSE. We will specifically search for any evidence of a rise in the incidence of TSE among hunters or the occurrence of unusual cases that may be related to CWD.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Emerging Diseases, Epidemiology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: This project was supported in part by a cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Innovative Topics in Environmental Health - Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA