Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Have You Seen Any "Zombie Deer" in Maine

Locations of deer that have tested positive for CWD in Tennessee Locations of deer that have tested positive for CWD in Tennessee
Celia Hoffman | 22 February, 2019, 22:28

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning about "zombie deer disease" that affects deer, elk, and moose - and have confirmed a case right here in Oneida County. While in 2018 the authorities confirmed one CWD case in a farmed deer in Quebec, the so-called "zombie deer disease" has spread since previous year to three provinces in Canada and more regions across the US.

It may take over a year before an infected animal develops symptoms, which can include drastic weight loss, stumbling, listlessness, and other neurologic symptoms.

CWD is in the same family as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which the CDC describes as "a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurodegenerative disorder".

The most exposed to zombie deer disease are those who use to eat deer meat, the experts say. There is no known case of CWD in a person.

Scientists believe that CWD is likely spread through body fluids such as feces, saliva, blood, or urine, either through direct contact or through environmental contact via soil, food, or water. There are no signs till now of spreading wasting disease in humans, but it is assumed that soon it can spread.

More news: Time's Up chief resigns after assault allegation against her son

Unofficially dubbed the "Zombie Disease", experts warn that an ailment afflicted deer populations could potentially spread to humans through the consumption of infected venison meat.

"These studies raise concerns that there may also be a risk to people", the CDC determined.

Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, told lawmakers that there must remain strict processing and packaging regulations for deer meat in order to stop the spread of infected meat. This disease is also found in reindeer in Norway and Finland, and some small number of cases are also seen in South Korea. The CDC also "recommends that hunters strongly consider having those animals tested before eating the meat".

He compared CWD to "mad cow disease"-another prion disease which caused the deaths of more than 150 people throughout the 1980s and 90s in the United Kingdom, despite the fact that many initially doubted it could spread to humans".

According to the Alliance for Public Wildlife, between 7,000 to 15,000 animals infected with CWD are eaten annually, and it is possible this number could increase by 20 percent per year.

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