In an attempt to monitor the spread of chronic wasting disease in Pennsylvania's deer population, the State Game Commission has formed a 600-mile, disease-management area in Adams and York Counties.
Lycoming County remains outside of any disease management area, despite the fact that the infected deer was born at a farm in Williamsport. That farm and 10 others in the state have been placed under quarantine, as they are all locations where the infected deer, or deer exposed to the infected deer, have visited, according to officials.
Within the disease-management area, hunters have been urged to take any deer harvested between Nov. 26 and Dec. 8 to a state-run check station. There, tissue samples will be removed and tested for the disease, at no charge.
One expert said hunters within Lycoming County may wish to get their deer tested as well.
"The infected deer was born in Lycoming County, where it lived for about four months. Even though it was more likely infected in Adams County, I cannot rule out the option that it may have been infected in Lycoming," said David Wolfgang, veterinarian at Penn State and a member of the state's CWD task force.
Wolfgang said if he were hunting in Lycoming County, particularly near Williamsport, he would want to have his deer tested.
"The more information we gather about this disease and the population of wild deer, the better. Testing your deer is both playing it safe and a way to help out your fellow deer hunters," he said.
David Carlini, of the state game commission's Northcentral regional office, said that the deer of Lycoming County were "absolutely safe" for human consumption.
"The Lycoming facility has no deer. It hasn't had any for about a year. The infected deer was born there and moved from there when it was very young," Carlini said.
He added that the infected deer was raised on farms, and there had been no recorded cases of chronic wasting disease in the state's wild deer population.
Wolfgang said Lycoming County wasn't included in the management area due to the expense.
"From what I understand, the department is already stretched to its limit, funding the testing facilities in Adams and York Counties," Wolfgang said.
Though the disease cannot directly infect humans, the Center for Disease Control has recommended that humans do not consume meat from an animal infected with chronic wasting disease.
Hunters outside the management area who wish to have their deer tested by contacting the state Department of Agriculture's Veterinary Laboratory will be charged a $75 fee, according to Wolfgang.