In North America, a chronic wasting disease (CWD) named deadly infection is spreading. The disease is widely known as ‘zombie deer disease,’ as it causes illness which attacks the brain, spinal cord and other tissues in deer, elk and moose.
The infection eventually leads to death but not before causing the animal to surprisingly lose weight and coordination. The disease also leads to aggression in infected animals.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of January 2019, in 24 states of US and two Canadian provinces, the disease was reported, up two states since last year, as quoted by Daily Mail.
However, there is no evidence or case has been reported yet that claims the disease can infect humans according to the CDC. But a recent study found Macaques could get the disease after consuming infected meat which sparks the fear that it can eventually emerge a variant that can also infect humans.
The infection is spreading out since it blossomed primarily in northern Colorado and southern Wyoming, according to CDC. Daily mail quoted as CDC said, “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 Middlewest, Southwest, and limited areas on the East Coast.”
“It is possible that CWD may also occur in the states without strong animal surveillance systems, but that cases haven’t been detected yet. 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.”
Zombie deer disease has caused many to relate it with the mad cow epidemic but luckily there’s so far no evidence that people can be harmed by infected meat. CWD can be found in both free-ranging and farmed animals and is known to have horrifying effects on those it infects.