Published: Wed, October 09, 2019
Medical | By Mark Scott

Nevada Officials Fear Spread of 'Zombie Deer'

Nevada Officials Fear Spread of 'Zombie Deer'

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a rare neurological disease that affects deer, elk, reindeer, sika deer and moose.

Cases of chronic wasting disease or CWD have been reported in Allegany County in Maryland and Culpeper, Frederick and Shenandoah counties in Virginia, officials said.

Clinical signs to look out for include stumbling, poor body condition (low weight or emaciation), excessive drinking and salivation, lack of fear or people and difficulty running, which is why affected animals are often referred to as "zombie deer".

He added: "If Stephen King could per chance write an infectious illness contemporary, he would write about prions take care of this". The sampling takes about five minutes and doesn't affect the deer's meat or antlers, the department said. The disease is always fatal.

"There is a real possibility that there could be transmission to humans", Mr. Osterholm said. "And it is going to spread into Nevada", said J.J. Goicoechea.

"(Chronic Wasting Disease) does not appear to naturally infect cattle or domesticated animals", the CDC says.

"It is not known if people can get infected with CWD prions". But some animal studies indicate that the disease poses a risk to various breeds of non-human primates, including monkeys, that eat meat from infected animals or come in contact with their bodily fluids, according to the agency.

Some research has indicated that animals can be contagious before symptoms begin, and the disease can also remain present in the environment for years. This number continues to rise up to 20% every year, the organization asserts.

Nevada legislators also passed a law earlier this year to keep parts of certain carcasses out of the state in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease. The hunting area is closer to wintering elk feedgrounds, causing concern that the disease could spread to elk populations.

So far, there is no evidence that chronic wasting disease can cross species from deer to humans.

This includes 35 Kansas counties: Cheyenne, Decatur, Edwards, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Graham, Gray, Grove, Hamilton, Haskell, Hodgeman, Jewell, Kearny, Lane, Logan, Meade, Ness, Norton, Osborne, Pawnee, Pratt, Phillips, Rawlins, Reno, Rooks, Rush, Scott, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Stafford, Thomas, Trego, Wallace.

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