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Health

Web Desk
February 10, 2019

What is 'Zombie' deer disease or CWD and can it spread to humans?

Health

Web Desk
Sun, Feb 10, 2019

The reports that chronic wasting disease (CWD) also known as Zombie deer disease can spread to humans have caused fear among residents in US states where it has been reported in animals.

Health experts say the disease turns deer into zombies and could causes animals to dramatically lose weight and walk in repetitive patterns.

Citing a news report, New York Post wrote that as many as 24 states in US including New York have reported the disease in deer, elk, and moose.

While there are no reports of disease affecting the humans, health experts at Minnesota urged on Thursday that CWD should be treated as a public heath issue.

“It is probable that human cases of CWD associated with the consumption of contaminated meat will be documented in the years ahead,” the New York Post quoted Michael Osterholm, the director for the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease and Research Prevention as having told lawmakers.

“It is possible that number of human cases will be substantial and will not be isolated events,” he said.

According to the newspaper, scientists believe CWD is passed on through proteins, called prions, in body fluids, like feces, saliva, blood or urine. CWD prions can remain in the environment for a long time — meaning other animals are at risk even after an infected elk or deer has died.