The so-called zombie deer disease has already spread across Canada and the United States. In Canada, it affects three provinces at the moment, namely, Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Alberta. Even though, at this time, the chronic wasting disease (CWD), as it’s known scientifically, only affected deer, elk, and moose, it might pass to humans, too, scientists warn.
The most exposed to zombie deer disease are those who use to eat deer meat, the experts say. Accordingly, those loving hunting and eating deer, elk, or moose should avoid doing so at least until the situation ends.
So far, 24 American states and three provinces in Canada recorded cases of the so-called zombie deer disease or CWD. This illness is a neurodegenerative condition affecting the brain and causing symptoms such as depression, lack of coordination, weight loss, excess salivation, and paralysis. Eventually, the affected animal dies.
Zombie Deer Disease Might Pass To Humans, Too, Scientists Warn
This zombie deer disease is common in deer, elk, and moose, as we’ve already mentioned above. According to Michael Osterholm, an expert in infectious disease from the University of Minnesota, people eat more than 15,000 animals infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD) across the US and Canada.
“It is probable that human cases of chronic wasting disease associated with consumption with contaminated meat will be documented in the years ahead,” said Michael Osterholm. “It’s possible the number of human cases will be substantial and will not be isolated events,” he added.
Since the 1960s when the zombie deer disease has been spotted for the first time, there were no recorded cases of humans infected with CWD. However, recent studies revealed that chronic wasting disease could pass to primates and other animals, meaning that without any precaution measures it might soon affect humans, too. “It’s like a throw at the genetic roulette table. If you put this into a meat processing plant, this is kind of a worst-case nightmare,” Michael Osterholm said.
Vadim is a passionate writer on various topics but especially on stuff related to health, technology, and science. Therefore, for Great Lakes Ledger, Vadim will cover health and Sci&Tech news.