Tags: deer | chronic wasting | disease | cdc | hunting

'Deer' Disease Spreads to 24 States, May Affect Humans

'Deer' Disease Spreads to 24 States, May Affect Humans
Chronic wasting disease is a prion disease primarily found in wild deer, elk, moose and reindeer. (AP)

By    |   Friday, 15 February 2019 01:46 PM

An infectious disease that kills deer and similar animals has been confirmed in 24 states, and experts are unsure if humans are affected, USA Today reports.

Chronic wasting disease was first observed in the 1960s in Colorado, and now has been confirmed in two dozen U.S. states and two Canadian provinces, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CWD is a prion disease primarily found in wild deer, elk, moose and reindeer. An abnormal protein forms in the animal’s brain cells, which cause them to burst and become “spongy.”

The CDC has found “no strong evidence for the occurrence of CWD in people,” and said that “it is not known if people can get infected with CWD prions.”

"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, the director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. "It’s possible the number of human cases will be substantial, and will not be isolated events."

The CDC recommends that hunters take several precautions to avoid any potential risks from CWD. Do not shoot, touch, or eat meat from an animal that is acting strangely, looks ill, or has been found dead, check state wildlife and health guidelines and have any game meat tested for CWD before eating.

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An infectious disease that kills deer and similar animals has been confirmed in 24 states, and experts are unsure if humans are affected, USA Today reports.
deer, chronic wasting, disease, cdc, hunting
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2019-46-15
Friday, 15 February 2019 01:46 PM
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