Chronic Wasting Disease In Deer and Elk

In the U.S., deer hunting is very popular. According to recent reports, there are around 10 million people in the U.S. who currently hunt. However, when it comes to hunting, it isn’t easy. Public health officials are currently in the process of warning people of chronic wasting disease.

In 24 states, officials have been able to confirm cases of deer populations having chronic wasting disease. The Centers for Disease Control is afraid that the disease may spread to humans. The way that the CWD would spread to humans is by them eating infected animals.

People who live in areas known for deer hunting have probably heard of the chronic wasting disease. The illness first came about around the late 1960s. However, there have been confirmed cases since 2001 in the wild deer and elk communities.

Chronic Wasting Disease Taking The Lives Of Deer And Elk

For animals, the disease is completely devastating and takes control of their entire life. The animal begins to take on “zombie-like” state. Also, they start exhibiting bizarre behavior and physically begin to deteriorate. Unfortunately, CWD affects the proteins in the brain called prions. Prion Diseases do exist in humans and are deadly. CWD is deadly for animals and causes irreversible damage. As of know, there is no cure for CWD.

If an animal looks like they may have CWD, the CDC warns to stay away, and not to consume any parts. They recommend to leave the animal alone. Hunters should have any animals that they kill in areas where CWD was found to be tested for disease, even if the animal did not show any signs.

According to info from the CDC, there is no evidence of there ever being a transmission of chronic wasting disease from deer to humans. However, it is best to remain cautious and refrain from ingesting the meat.