‘Zombie Deer Disease’ May Infect Humans, Scientists Fear

February 15, 2019

Written by Capt McNeely

Georgia Division ZADF Twitter: @ZADF_ORG



In 24 states, elk, deer, and moose have been seen to exhibit “zombie-like” behavior. They dramatically lose weight, drool, stumble around, and act aggressively towards humans seemingly without fear. Though people have dubbed this disease “Zombie Deer Disease” it’s actually called, Chronic Wasting Disease or CWD



Image result for CWD

Deer with CWD Via Duluth News Tribune



The illness attacks the animal’s neurological system causing them to basically starve to death. With the number of cases rising across the United States, scientists fear that inevitably the disease will “jump” to the human species; this is known as “Cross-Species Transmission”, where a disease that originates in an Animal is spread outside their species.



Elk with CWD Via National Parks Service



The disease resembles Bovine spongiform encephalopathyMad Cow Disease” but once the meat of an infected cow was consumed by a human it becomes Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease or CJD. In all cases CWD, Mad Cow, and CJD are fatal due to Prions, “misfolded” protein cells that once present in the neurological system, causes rapid Neurodegeneration. Normally Neurodegeneration takes years to affect a human that’s diagnosed with it but a disease like the ones listed above, the effects are seen in a months after exposure.




via USGS



Recently experts have issued warnings to public officials of the potential threat to the public. For those who may be concerned should consult their local Fish and Game officials.

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