Until recently, chronic wasting disease of cervids, the only prion disease affecting wildlife, was believed to be geographically concentrated to Colorado and Wyoming within the United States. However, increased surveillance has unveiled several additional pockets of CWD-infected deer and elk in 12 additional states and 2 Canadian provinces. Deer and elk with CWD have extensive aggregates of PrP(Sc) not only in the central nervous system, but also in peripheral lymphoid tissues, skeletal muscle, and other organs, perhaps influencing prion shedding. Indeed, CWD is transmitted efficiently among animals by horizontal routes, although the mechanism of spread is unknown. Genetic polymorphisms in the Prnp gene may affect CWD susceptibility, particularly at codon 225 (S/F) in deer and codon 132 (M/L) in elk. Since CWD infects free-ranging animals and is efficiently spread, disease management will be a challenge.