Published: Fri, February 22, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Zombie Deer Disease Spreading In The US May Infect Humans, Expert Warns

Zombie Deer Disease Spreading In The US May Infect Humans, Expert Warns

"These studies raise concerns that there may also be a risk to people".

Up until recently, the zombie apocalypse was nothing more than a fictional depiction drawn out in Hollywood movies.

Chronic wasting disease belongs to the same family of diseases - known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies - as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease) and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).

As of January 2019, including Texas, the disease has been reported in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Kaufman says there's no reported cases of the disease spreading to humans, but says you should be cautious around potentially infected animals. Farm owners argued that humans aren't able to contract the disease but 156 United Kingdom citizens died in the 1990's due to the "mad cow" disease. It is estimated that up to 15,000 animals infected with CWD are consumed each year and the number is thought to grow by at least 20% each year according to the Alliance for Public Wildlife.

CWD was actually observed in the wild around four decades ago, with the CDC's report on it stating: "Since 2000, the area known to be affected by CWD in free-ranging animals has increased to at least 24 states, including states in the Midwest, Southwest, and limited areas on the East Coast. It is possible that number of human cases will be substantial and will not be isolated events", he said, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. But the disease is always fatal. Stay away from deers, and elks found dead (road-kill).

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The CDC advises hunters to test meat obtained from deer that live in affected areas. Avoid mixing meat from multiple animals.

If you live in an area of deers or own deers, you are advised to get your deer checked for Chronic wasting disease (CWD) to protect your deer and yourself.

The CDC recommends wearing latex or rubber gloves when handing a hunted animal and its meat.

Minimize how much you handle the organs of the animal, particularly the brain or spinal cord tissues.

Do not use household knives or other kitchen utensils for field dressing.

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