Meningeal worm

Meningeal worm is a nematode parasite, Parelaphostrongylus tenuis.
Signs Of Disease
In the normal host, white-tailed deer, and occasionally elk, the parasite causes no clinical disease. In most elk and other ruminants (domestic sheep and goats, mule deer, moose, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats), the abnormal migration of the L3 causes paresis of the limbs that can lead to paralysis and death.
Where is Disease Found?
Meningeal worm is found throughout eastern North America but is usually restricted to east of the 100th meridian. Meningeal worm has not been documented in Idaho.
How Can I Protect Myself?
Meningeal worm is not a human health concern.
Samples to Collect
The head and spinal cord of animals suspected of having meningeal worm can be collected for identification of the parasite. Samples should be kept cool or refrigerated until they can be delivered to a conservation officer or an Idaho Department of Fish and Game Regional Office. Fecal samples from white-tailed deer and elk can be collected and refrigerated or frozen.
Can I Eat The Meat?
Meat from animals that infected with meningeal worm, whether they have clinical signs or not, can be consumed by humans.
What is IDFG doing to help manage this disease?:

Meningeal worm is not known to be present in Idaho in wild deer or elk.  For captive cervids under the jurisdiction of Idaho Department of Fish and Game private ownership of these animals and restrictions on importation of animals from east of the 100th meridian.  For captive cervids under the jurisdiction of Idaho State Department of Agriculture, the prohibition on importation of animals from east of the 100th meridian was lifted in 2015.

If meningeal worm becomes established in wild cervids in Idaho, management of the parasite will be extremely difficult if not impossible.  Prevention of the introduction of this parasite is very important in maintaining the health status of wild cervids in Idaho.