Health experts issued a warning regarding the ‘Zombie’ deer disease that has affected the deer population in an estimated 24 states and two Canadian provinces. Experts warned that it could eventually spread to and infect humans.
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said that the Chronic wasting disease (CWD), which is described as a progressive, fatal disease that affects the brain, spinal cord and other tissues of animals.
There are no treatments or vaccines.
The disease, which can take years for symptoms to appear after infection, is believed to spread through bodily fluids like feces, saliva, blood, or urine, by both direct and indirect contact in the environment.
The symptoms include drastic weight loss, lack of coordination, listlessness, drooling, drooping ears, stumbling and excessive thirst or urination.
According to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, Michael Osterholm, the director for the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease and Research Prevention said, “It is probable that human cases of CWD associated with the consumption of contaminated meat will be documented in the years ahead. It is possible that (the) number of human cases will be substantial and will not be isolated events.”
As per the CDC website, “To date, there is no strong evidence for the occurrence of CWD in people, and it is not known if people can get infected with CWD prions. Nevertheless, these experimental studies raise the concern that CWD may pose a risk to people and suggest that it is important to prevent human exposures to CWD.”