ELKADER, Iowa -- At least six deer with chronic wasting disease were discovered near Elkader during the recent hunting season as the deadly disease continues its spread throughout Iowa. 

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources today announced that deer afflicted with the always-fatal neurological disease were discovered for the first time in Decatur, Fayette, Winneshiek and Woodbury counties during the recent season. The disease previously was discovered in Allamakee, Clayton, Dubuque and Wayne counties. 

Chronic wasting disease primarily affects deer and elk and is spread through fluids such as saliva and blood. Sick animals lose weight, display abnormal behaviors such as excessive salivation and lose bodily functions. 

The Iowa DNR submitted nearly 7,000 deer tissue samples for testing from hunter-harvested or road-killed deer in the recent hunting season. Testing showed 43 positive results, six of which were near Elkader in Clayton County. 

There have been no documented cases of chronic wasting disease affecting humans. However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest not consuming meat from affected animals.