This might sound like a scene from Korean blockbuster film, ‘Train To Busan’ where a deer who had been infected with zombie virus came from the dead and spread the virus to humans. However, this is a real life situation in the US and Canada as a deadly disease that causes deer to act like zombie is spreading fast in the countries.
Experts also warn that the virus could spread from deer to humans in not time
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) or also known as ‘zombie deer disease’ has been reported in 22 states and two Canadian provinces as of this month
This fatal infection attacks the brain, spinal cord, and other tissues in deer, elk, and moose.
Symptoms include dramatic weight loss, lack of coordination and aggression before the infected animals die
Even though there are no evidence that this virus could be transferred to humans, a recent study found that it is possible for humans to get this virus after consuming infected meat. This could mean that there is a high probability for the virus to be found in humans soon.
Warnings over ‘zombie deer disease’ have caused many to draw parallels to the mad cow epidemic
However, for now, there is no direct evidence that humans can get infected with the virus through eating infected meat, according to Colorado Public Radio.
The first case of this disease was identified 50 years ago with Colorado said to be the epicentre.
It can be found in both free-ranging and farmed animals and it could take years for the symptoms to manifest in the infected animals
The disease earned its name from the bizarre symptoms it causes, including a vacant stare and exposed ribs as it causes the animal to physically waste away
Scientists have been working hard to investigate about the nature of the disease’s distribution and how the virus could evolve.
According to CPR, CWD testing for mule deer in some areas was required by Colorado Parks and Wildlife in the last hunting season.
While it has been assumed that there may be a ‘species barrier’ preventing it from spreading from deer to humans, the recent finding suggest that the risk may be higher than previously suspected.
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