Big Game Diseases in Nebraska

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

  • Description: A fatal prion disease affecting deer and elk, similar to other species-specific prion diseases.
  • Prevalence: Found in wild populations across 29 states and 54 counties in Nebraska.
  • Transmission: Spread through direct contact with infected animals or contaminated substances.
  • Prevention: Avoid congregating deer, dispose of deer remains properly, and educate on disease management.
  • Testing: Available through accredited labs; refer to for details.
  • More Information: Visit or

Nebraska Big Game Disease Information

Meningeal Brain Worm (MBW)

  • Affected Species: Primarily affects mule deer and, to a lesser extent, elk.
  • Symptoms: Affected animals may appear disoriented and unaware of their surroundings.
  • Hosts: White-tailed deer act as hosts but are not adversely affected.
  • Impact: Contributed to the decline and westward recession of mule deer in Nebraska.

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD)

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) is a significant concern for wildlife populations, especially in states like Nebraska. Here's a brief summary of the recent impact of EHD:

  • 2021 Impact: EHD saw increased prevalence compared to recent years, affecting most of Nebraska, with the northeastern part of the state experiencing the greatest losses.
  • 2022 Decline: Reports of EHD decreased significantly, indicating a lower prevalence of the disease throughout the state.
  • More Information: For updates and more details, visit

Observing Sick Animals

  • Reporting: Contact the nearest office of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission if you encounter sick or symptomatic animals.

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