AUSTIN (KXAN) — A fatal neurological disease was discovered in a 1-year-old buck at a deer breeding facility in Gillespie County, Texas Parks and Wildlife said Friday.

The white-tailed deer tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease after its death. This is the first positive detection of the disease in this county, TPWD said.

“TPWD and Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) are collaboratively working to determine the source and extent of the first positive detection of the disease in this county,” the release said.

According to the release, “immediate action has been taken to secure all deer located at the facility” and additional investigations are expected. Movement restrictions have been placed on other breeding facilities that received deer or shipped deer to this facility during the last five years.

“Response staff are diligently working to conduct epidemiological investigations, but the nature of the disease makes definitive findings difficult to determine,” said Dr. Andy Schwartz, TAHC State Veterinarian. “The incubation period of CWD can span years creating disease detection and management challenges.”

CWD is “highly transmissible” and may be “infectious on the landscape for several years.” It can also have long-term impacts on native deer herd and local economies, the release said.

There is no evidence CWD poses a risk to humans or non-cervids. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend not to consume meat from infected animals, TPWD said.

What is Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)?

Chronic Wasting Disease is a fatal neurological disease found in certain cervids like deer, elk, moose and other members of the deer family, TPWD said.

CWD was first recognized in 1967 in captive mule deer in Colorado. It has since been documented in captive and/or free-ranging deer in 30 states and three Canadian provinces, the release said.

The release said 376 captive or free-ranging cervids — including white-tailed deer, mule deer, red deer and elk — in 15 Texas counties have tested positive for CWD. You can find more information on previous detections on the TPWD website.

Signs of CWD (according to TPWD)

Clinical signs may include progressive weight loss, stumbling or tremors with a lack of coordination, excessive thirst, salivation or urination, loss of appetite, teeth grinding, abnormal head posture and/or drooping ears.

These signs may not become evident until long after animals have become infected. Therefore, testing is the best tool available for detecting CWD at an early stage and containing it with appropriate management strategies.

Hunting: What to know

TPWD said “hunters in surveillance and containment zones must meet submission requirements of harvested CWD susceptible species.” TPWD will be providing additional information to landowners, and hunters in Gillespie County will receive additional information on CWD sampling locations and options to have their deer tested.

Hunters outside of established surveillance and containment zones can voluntarily submit their harvest for testing at a check station, for free. Check this TPWD map for all CWD zones.