It may sound like a scene out of a horror movie, but cases of "zombie deer disease" are popping up across the Midwest and some experts are warning it could pose a … That basically sums up why you hear it called the "zombie deer disease." In light of this new development, Health spoke with Brian Appleby, MD, director of the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center at Case Western Reserve University. "Zombie deer disease," or chronic wasting disease, is making headlines across the Midwest. DEADLY ‘ZOMBIE’ DEER DISEASE COULD POSSIBLY SPREAD TO HUMANS, EXPERTS WARN. Deer hunting seasons across the US have begun, and with that, comes new warnings of chronic wasting disease—or, the terrifying-sounding "zombie deer disease.". In areas where the disease is common, the CDC recommends that hunters strongly consider testing the animals before eating their meat and/or checking with local wildlife or public health departments regarding their testing policies. … 'Zombie Deer Disease' Is Infecting Animals Across the Country—Are Humans at Risk? For more on infectious diseases, check out our Infectious Disease Condition Center, RELATED: 16 Things You Can Catch From Your Pet. Appleby says there’s no cause for panic just yet. “It’s a little different with cervids because they’re free-ranging and you don’t have the luxury of being able to contain them and stop the spread.”. Chronic wasting disease has been around for decades, but its recent spread has health experts worried. A deadly and infectious condition know as 'zombie deer disease' - or Chronic Wasting Disease - is said to be spreading rapidly across the US - and humans could be next, an expert has warned. “Zombie deer” disease, also known as chronic wasting disease, is a type of prion disease that affects deer, elk, and moose. Chronic wasting disease (CWD), sometimes commonly referred to as zombie deer disease is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) affecting deer. Cases have also been reported in Norway, Finland and South Korea. All products and services featured are selected by our editors. How does it spread in animals? But slowly, signs of the disease may develop, including dramatic weight loss, impaired coordination, stumbling, drooling, excessive thirst or urination and aggression. Natural infection causing CWD af… In deer and elk, CWD spreads through bodily fluids, either directly or through contamination of soil, food, or water. Even after an infected animal dies, the risk of it spreading to other animals can last a long time. As people wonder what might happen if humans eat meat from "zombie" deer, there is at least one group of people who already know. “Take advantage of these testing services, take precautions, and don’t put yourself at risk.”, To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter. When field dressing a deer, hunters should wear latex or rubber gloves, avoid using household knives or kitchen utensils, and minimize how much they handle the animal’s organs, particularly the brain and spinal cord tissue. The disease gets more serious as it progresses, and it is always fatal. The symptoms of anxiety can be hard to detect. That’s why constant monitoring of prion diseases is important, he says. And for people who have their deer or elk commercially processed, the CDC recommends asking the facility to avoid mixing meat from multiple animals. Health.com is part of the Meredith Health Group. Chronic wasting disease (CWD), which is nicknamed “zombie deer disease,” gets its name from a range of symptoms. This chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, meaning the deer are exposed to a pathogen (a protein called a prion) that causes holes throughout the brain, making the organ look like a sponge by the time of death. The proposed bill, which Abraham, 64, said he expects to have “complete bipartisan support," is … Regardless, proper precautions should be taken in areas where this disease is common. Procedures and facilities vary by region, but several states have set up free testing centers, according to NBC News. "I'm petrified," the actress said when she shared the news that her breast cancer came back. “Mad cow” disease is not what is affecting the deer. A year or so after an animal becomes infected, according to the CDC, it can begin stumbling and acting listless and confused. A fatal neurological disease that turns deer into zombies could spread to humans, health experts are warning. According to the CDC, this disease is present in at least 24 states in the United States and two provinces in Canada. However, one experiment showed that this disease can affect macaques, monkeys that have close genetic similarities to humans. Now, some states, including Nevada, are hoping to continue to stay disease-free. Prions cause a family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) that include crappie and mad cow disease. Infected humans don’t get BSE, but they do develop a similar (and also fatal) condition called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). Here’s how he describes this illness and its spread throughout the United States, plus how worried he thinks we should be. Amrit K. Kamboj, MD, is an internal medicine resident and member of the ABC News Medical Unit. Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) minus. A deadly infection that’s come to be known as ‘zombie deer disease’ is spreading across North America, a new report warns. Maddox was referring to fears from another prion disease, “mad cow,” which was first found in England, where it spread to humans as the rare variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Related Pages. "It’s possible the number of human cases will be substantial and will not be isolated events.”. Earlier this year, media attention increased around chronic wasting disease after Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told state lawmakers that he’s concerned that this infection may spread to people. Animals with chronic wasting disease may not show it for several months to years. From easier cramps to a heavier flow, here's a guide on what to expect decade by decade. But they're also eating A LOT more poop and drinking A LOT more pee. In the US, CWD affects mule deer, white-tailed deer, red deer, sika deer, elk, caribou, and moose. As of August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified at least 277 counties in 24 different states with reports of chronic wasting disease in free-ranging deer, elk or other cervids (aka ruminant mammals). A disease affecting animals—nicknamed the “zombie deer” disease—has been identified in more than 20 states. And eating meat from contaminated elk or deer is a real concern. There may be even more cases that we do not yet know about. An infected deer is still eating their normal diets for the majority of the infected periods. 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"Zombie deer disease," a deadly infection that causes deer to dramatically lose weight and coordination and turn aggressive, is spreading across North America, a government report warns. Some animals develop the telltale symptoms listed above, while others die without developing any symptoms at all. An infectious disease deadly in deer has spread to 24 states, and experts warned that the ailment – unofficially dubbed "zombie" deer disease – could one day hit humans.