DEER DISEASE INFECTS 24 STATES, EXPERTS WORRIED ABOUT HUMAN TRANSMISSION

A disease called chronic wasting disease (CWD) has infected the Cervidae (deer, elk, moose) family across 24 states causing fears over human transmission. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), chronic wasting disease is a prion that builds in the afflicted animal’s brain and lymph nodes resulting in disorientation, weight loss, sometimes aggression, and ultimately death.

With the growth of the disease, experts in the field have become concerned about the possibility of human transmission. “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, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota told the Minnesota legislature last week. “It’s possible the number of human cases will be substantial, and will not be isolated events.”

The disease was first discovered in 1960 in Colorado and has since grown. Hunters are urged to be vigilant and test their game.

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