Zombie Deer Disease Detected in NY

Chronic Wasting Disease Zombie Deer Disease, CDC

Chronic Wasting Disease Zombie Deer Disease, CDC

CWD is in the same family as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which the CDC describes as "a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurodegenerative disorder". According to the CDC, the disease gets its start infecting prion proteins in the brain, and is passed through contact with contaminated body fluids and tissue.

At present, there is little solid evidence proving whether or not chronic wasting disease could be spread to humans, but the World Health Organization has emphasized the importance of keeping the agents of all prion diseases away from the human food chain.

The CDC reports that the disease has been reported in 24 states and two provinces in Canada.

The New York case was reported in Oneida County. Once an animal becomes infected, the disease tends to spread quickly within a population.

To date, no cases of CWD have been reported in humans.

Not according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And though the CDC says it's possible that CWD might exist in other states that lack strong animal surveillance systems, the threat to humans exists only if humans consume tainted animal meat, and even that threat has yet to be confirmed. But scientists have shown that monkeys who were given infected deer meat or bodily tissue to eat, did contract CWD.

Japan space probe to collect rock from asteroid - CBBC Newsround
Researchers also hope to find clues into how life started on Earth, according to the report. If that succeeds, the craft would then collect samples to eventually be sent back to Earth.

Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, warned that CWD should be treated with the utmost caution, and that the risks to humans could be very real given our lack of knowledge.

There is no known case of CWD in a human.

A number of cases have been reported in almost three dozen Missouri counties.

What precautions can people take?

The CDC is, however, continuing to warn the public to test their venison or elk meat for CWD before eating it from areas with documented infections.

Deer infected with CWD will look sickly and behave strangely, stumble, drool and lose weight.

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