This is not a drill, people.
According to the CDC, as of last month, ‘Zombie Deer Disease,” aka Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been found in free-ranging deer, elk, and moose in at least 24 states, including New York.
“CWD has not been found in New York since 2005,” the CDC wrote in a statement. “New York State successfully stopped CWD from spreading in the state with a rapid response plan. DEC has vigorous controls and there has been no movement of CWD into New York with regulations prohibiting importations of any carriers.”
The CDC describes CWD as a “prion” disease. “Prions, also known as ‘transmissible spongiform encephalopathies’ (TSEs), are a family of rare progressive neurodegenerative disorders that affect both humans and animals. They are distinguished by long incubation periods, characteristic spongiform changes associated with neuronal loss, and a failure to induce inflammatory response.”
Prions also cause “Mad Cow Disease.”
According to Channel 4 News of the Carolinas: “The disease is a fatal, progressive, neurodegenerative illness that was first identified in the 1960s. It is similar to mad cow disease, in that it is spread by prions, pathogenic proteins that aren’t alive, so they can’t be killed.”
When the disease infects an animal, the prions eat away at the animal’s brain, often causing a symptoms that resemble dementia and eventually cause death.
Although unlikely, prion diseases have been known to jump species, as Mad Cow did to humans who unknowingly consumed the meat of infected cows.
So far there is no indication that this will happen in this case, but it’s still a concern to the CDC and government health departments.
Says the CDC: “To date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in people. However, animal studies suggest CWD poses a risk to some types of non-human primates, like monkeys, that eat meat from CWD-infected animals or come in contact with brain or body fluids from infected deer or elk. These studies raise concerns that there may also be a risk to people. Since 1997, the World Health Organization has recommended that it is important to keep the agents of all known prion diseases from entering the human food chain.”
Prions are the same thing