Monday, 14 October, 2019

'Zombie deer' disease reported in 35 Kansas counties

Nevada fighting to keep ‘zombie deer’ from entering state Nevada fighting to keep ‘zombie deer’ from entering state
Samantha Long | 08 October, 2019, 09:57

FILE - In this November 17, 2012, file photo, Mike Zeckmeister, a biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, removes the lymph nodes from one of three deer in a hunter's pickup truck, in order to test them for chronic wasting disease, at a checkpoint in Shell Lake, Wis. "Zombie deer" may sound like something in a bad B-movie, but wildlife regulators say they're real and officials are working to keep them out of Nevada.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife is urging hunters to visit their mobile sampling stations and check their carcasses for chronic wasting disease, a fatal illness that affects the brain and spinal cord of deer, elk and moose.

Regulators are working overtime to stop the afflicted animals from reaching Nevada, anxious that the chronic wasting disease that gives them their name could make them a danger to humans.

"The potential impacts of CWD to the Virginia white-tailed deer population are a serious concern, though the disease has not been shown to pose a health risk to humans or domestic animals", the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said.

So while Nevada officials continue to monitor migratory elk and deer populations for the disease, there are no quarantine guarantees.

States reporting animals with the disease include Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming, with regulators now trying to stop the spread to Nevada.

'It's amazing': 4000 people lace up for Winnipeg Run for the Cure
The annual event sees almost 100,000 participants nationwide, raising more than $17 million annually. "It's really encouraging. This year, about 24 people on the Boobilicious team have raised about $3,000 for the cause.

The CDC says scientists think the disease spreads between animals through contact with contaminated body fluids and tissue or indirectly through contaminated drinking water or food.

Wolff said efforts to decrease risk probably won't stop the disease at the Nevada state line. "We know that we can't wrap Nevada in a bubble", she commented.

Discussing his experience of mad cow disease being transmitted to humans, he said it was likely CWD would also occur through eating contaminated meat.

So far, there is no evidence that chronic wasting disease can cross species from deer to humans. The CDC highly recommends hunters have their animals tested before they eat it to avoid consuming any disease infected venison.

The disease has also spread to South Korea through the importing of captive elk, and to reindeer in Norway, Finland and Sweden.

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