February 8 2019

Zombie Deer Disease Outbreak in Canada and US: Experts Fear Deadly Spread to Humans

A deadly infection that’s come to be known as ‘zombie deer disease’ is spreading across North America, a new report…

A deadly infection that’s come to be known as ‘zombie deer disease’ is spreading across North America, a new report warns. Formally called chronic wasting disease, the illness attacks the brain, spinal cord, and other tissues in deer, elk, and moose.

It eventually leads to death – but, not before causing the animal to dramatically lose weight and coordination, and become aggressive.

According to the CDC, the disease was reported in at least 24 states in the US and two Canadian provinces as of January 2019, up two states since last year.

‘Once CWD is established in an area, the risk can remain for a long time in the environment. The affected areas are likely to continue to expand.’

Chronic wasting disease can be found in both free-ranging and farmed animals, and is known to have horrifying effects on those it infects – but, it can be years before an animal begins to show signs.

The disease earned its nickname from the bizarre symptoms it causes, including a vacant stare and exposed ribs as it causes the animal to physically waste away.

While it’s not yet known to be transmissible to humans, a recent study found for the first time that macaques could get the disease after consuming infected meat, sparking fears that a variant targeting humans could soon emerge.

A separate study found that laboratory mice with some human genes could become infected, according to the CDC. (Read More)