’Zombie Deer Disease’ is Spreading Across the United States – Here’s What Can You Do to Protect Yourself

The real name of the “Zombie Deer Disease” illness is Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), and it was first discovered in Colorado in 1967. This disease is progressive and fatal, which chronic weight loss that it’s leading to death. In other words, the animals that are affected are literally “wasting away”.

One of the symptoms include drooling, a blank or absent facial expression, tremors, grinding teeth, lack of coordination or lack of fear of the predators, this is most commonly seen in the family of deer such as mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, reindeer and moose.

This disease is caused by a type of infectious protein called prions. This is not caused easily between species but experts are warning that we should take precautions because it might transfer to humans. This is a classing example of the “mad cow” disease, and the fear is that it may follow their pattern.

Mark Zabel, associate director of the Prion Research Center at Colorado State University advised that “we have every reason to suspect” that this disease could pass to humans. He explained that the disease “may still be evolving, and it may be just a matter of time before a prion evolves in a deer or elk that is capable of infecting a human.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared the following statement on their website: “To date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in people. However, animal studies suggest CWD poses a risk to some types of non-human primates, like monkeys, that eat meat from CWD-infected animals or come in contact with brain or body fluids from infected deer or elk. These studies raise concerns that there may also be a risk to people. Since 1997, the World Health Organization has recommended that it is important to keep the agents of all known prion diseases from entering the human food chain.”

Reported Cases of Chronic Wasting Disease in the United States

Hereby, these are the recommended precaution rules that we all should apply:

– Always wear gloves when handling deer or deer meat

– Do not put any equipment that was used to handle deer meat back to use at any time

– Avoid handling or cutting through the spinal cords or brains of deer

– Get all deer tested in case they hold this disease in order to prevent

– Do not eat the brain, spinal cord, tonsils, spleen, lymph nodes or eyes of the deer

– Dispose and dispose properly the infected deer meat

– Don’t touch deer urine or poop

– Avoid deer that are acting like zombies in any way

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