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Readers familiar with game hunting are probably aware of the outbreak of Chronic Wasting Disease — also known as the “zombie deer” disease — among both captive and wild herds of deer, elk and moose across much of the wild lands of North America.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, CWD was first observed in Colorado in 1967 and has since spread to at least 24 different states and parts of Canada.
Disease - Animal - System - Symptoms - Stare
The disease that attacks the animal’s nervous system and is evidenced by symptoms such as a vacant stare, drooping head, drooling and exposed ribs, is understood to be caused by deformed and misfolded proteins called prions, which attack and infect other proteins.
It was long thought that these particular prions were species-specific and posed no risk to humans, but recent research has suggested that they may be capable of adapting and evolving to transmit to and infect other species.
Disease - Scrapie - Cow - Disease - Cattle
That is similar to the brain-attacking disease in sheep known as scrapie turned into mad cow disease which infects cattle, which in turn can infect humans who eat the tainted beef.
In June of 2017, the Canadian news site The Tyee reported on an advisory issued by the Health Products and Food Branch of Health Canada which warned of the possibility that CWD could potentially be transmitted to humans.
Advisory - Research - Stefanie - Czub - Food
That advisory was based off of research conducted by Stefanie Czub of the the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, who purposefully exposed 18 macaque monkeys to CWD through a variety of ways: injections directly into the brain, intravenous injections, contact with the skin and a diet of infected meat.
Some of the monkeys who were fed infected deer meat over a three-year period — roughly the equivalent of a human eating one seven-ounce steak per month — ended up testing positive...
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