Friday, February 16, 2024

Zombie deer disease is spreading.

Zombie deer disease is spreading. Here’s what you need to know 
  • The prion disease causes deer to become confused and lethargic 
  • There have been no reports of the disease spreading to humans 
  • Hunters may still be required or advised to test meat before eating it 
(NewsNation) — New reports of deer infected with so-called “zombie deer disease” have sparked concerns that the illness could make the jump to humans. Here’s what you need to know. 

What is zombie deer disease?

The official name of the illness is chronic wasting disease. It’s a prion disease, a classification of diseases that cause neurodegenerative changes and are almost always fatal. It became known as zombie deer disease due to the symptoms, which include weight loss, drooling, confusion, listlessness and stumbling. CWD occurs in deer, moose, elk and caribou. 

Where has zombie deer disease been reported?

Cases of CWD have been reported across the U.S. and Canada, with most of the instances clustered in the West and upper Midwest. Smaller clusters have been reported in the mid-Atlantic region and Southwest. There are 31 cases where CWD has been found, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that it could be present but undetected in other states. Source

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