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Sat Jun 15, 2019, 01:58 PM

A deadly deer disease is spreading. Could it strike people, too?

Animals
A deadly deer disease is spreading. Could it strike people, too?

By Jason Bittel
June 14

Jeannine Fleegle reached into a black garbage bag, pulled out a severed deer head, and placed it on a folding table smeared with blood and fur. .. “This is no one’s favorite time of year,” Fleegle said, picking up a scalpel.

It was a chilly morning, and Fleegle, a wildlife biologist for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, was with a half-dozen other state scientists in a garage in the small town of Bolivar. Covered in head-to-toe white Tyvek suits, they were surgically extracting hundreds of brain stem samples from deer killed by hunters during the state’s rifle season. The samples would be analyzed for signs of a deadly pathogen. ... The formal name of the ailment is chronic wasting disease, or CWD. But its effects on deer, elk and other cervids — weight loss, stumbling, listlessness and certain death — have inspired a creepier colloquial name: zombie deer disease.

More than half a century after it was first detected, the disease is now spreading rapidly. Last winter, Tennessee became the latest of 24 states to report CWD infections, which have also been found in two Canadian provinces, Norway, Finland and South Korea. Now, as it strikes animals across a widening territory, concern is growing among scientists and public health officials that the disease might leap to humans.

CWD is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, another of which did jump species: mad cow disease. In humans, mad cow disease is known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and it has killed more than 220 people worldwide since the 1990s. Some experts say that in a nation with an estimated 10 million deer hunters harvesting 6 million deer a year and eating many of them, it may be just a matter of time before chronic wasting makes its way to us. ... Both CWD and mad cow are thought to be caused by proteins that malfunction and misfold, called prions. There is no known cure or treatment for prion diseases.
....


Previously at DU:

Experts: Yes, chronic wasting disease in deer is a public health issue -- for people

7 replies, 876 views

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Reply A deadly deer disease is spreading. Could it strike people, too? (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 15 OP
Turbineguy Jun 15 #1
SWBTATTReg Jun 15 #2
Bayard Jun 15 #3
FirstLight Jun 15 #4
SCVDem Jun 15 #6
BeckyDem Jun 15 #5
Nitram Jun 15 #7

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2019, 02:00 PM

1. It won't strike people if we

keep trump.

That's how these things work.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2019, 02:21 PM

2. This is a big issue in MO too. They have provided alerts to MO citizens about eating ...

possibly contaminated meat (don't eat, throw out)...

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2019, 03:36 PM

3. Seen this a info a number of times

It's basically the same as Johne's disease in domestic cattle. I had a pet Brahma steer die from it when I was in Calif. No vaccine, no cure, always fatal. Causes horrible, explosive diarrhea, and the animal just wastes away. It has been linked to Crohn's disease in people.

http://www.thecattlesite.com/diseaseinfo/173/johnes-disease/

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2019, 03:38 PM

4. ...yikes...

So the rednecks WILL be the end of us ALL, by eating the diseased deer because they are hunting freaks like Ted Nugent...

so the map shows the areas affected...looks like the Zombies will come from the midwest after all...

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Response to FirstLight (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 15, 2019, 04:34 PM

6. You do realize

That without hunting, the population gets out of hand leading to more disease and horrible starvation deaths.
Venison is tasty.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2019, 03:47 PM

5. That is really scary.

No kidding around.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2019, 06:38 PM

7. Game management officials in every state have long been monitoring deer populations for

signs of the disease. It is one of the reasons for keeping deer populations from getting too large. It hasn't shown ip in Virginia so far, and we've got lots of deer.

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