“Zombie Deer Disease” Spreading Fast, Could Evolve To Infect Humans, Says Expert

[ad_1]

'Zombie Deer Disease' Spreading Fast, Could Evolve To Infect Humans, Says Expert

The deer affected by it are left drooling, stumbling, lethargic and with a blank stare.

Scientists in Canada are concerned about the spread of a fatal infection known as the “zombie deer disease” and fear it could soon infect humans. Its real name is chronic wasting disease – a contagious neurological condition which kills virtually every animal it infects. The infection is rapidly spreading in deer population across the US. According to The Guardian, Canadian province of British Columbia has released a strategy to combat its spread. Authorities moved rapidly after two cases were confirmed at the end of January.

Officials have ordered the testing of any road-killed deer, moose, elk and caribou, the outlet further said.

Chronic wasting disease is caused by misfolded proteins – when proteins do not fold into the correct shape – known as prions. After infection, prions travel throughout the central nervous system, leaving prion deposits in brain tissues and organs.

The deer affected by it are left drooling, stumbling, lethargic and with a blank stare, due to which the infection has been given the name “zombie deer disease”.

In Canada, the chronic wasting disease was earlier reported in farmed deer populations in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Quebec, as well as among wild deer in Manitoba.

In US, a confirmed case was reported in Yellowstone national park – the country’s first.

Health officials in Canada have said there is “no direct evidence” that the disease could make a leap to the humans. But Hermann Schatzl, from University of Calgary’s veterinary school, said previous research on macaques suggests transmission of chronic waste disease between primates is possible.

“In our experimental models, it’s very likely that CWD can infect humans. Has it ever happened before? There is no positive evidence where you can say a human had this prion disease from the consumption of venison. But will it happen in the future? Very likely, yes,” he told The Guardian.

[ad_2]

Read More

Previous post Capital One says it’s buying Discover for $35 billion, creating credit card and payments giant
Next post Who is Yulia Navalnaya, Putin’s new target? – All you need to know | World News – Times of India