A deadly infection that’s come to be known as ‘zombie deer disease’ is spreading across North America, a new report warns.

Formally called chronic wasting disease, the illness attacks the brain, spinal cord, and other tissues in deer, elk, and moose.

It eventually leads to death – but, not before causing the animal to dramatically lose weight and coordination, and become aggressive.

According to the CDC, the disease was reported in at least 24 states in the US and two Canadian provinces as of January 2019, up two states since last year.

Though warnings over ‘zombie deer disease’ over the past few years have caused many to draw parallels to the mad cow epidemic, there’s so far no evidence that people can be harmed by infected meat.

The disease was first spotted in the wild roughly 40 years ago, but has been seen in captive deer as far back as the late 1960s.

It blossomed primarily in northern Colorado and southern Wyoming, and has been spreading outward since, according to the CDC.

‘Since 2000, the area known to be affected by CWD in free-ranging animals has increased to at least 24 states, including states in the Midwest, Southwest, and limited areas on the East Coast,’ the CDC says.

‘It is possible that CWD may also occur in other states without strong animal surveillance systems, but that cases haven’t been detected yet.

Original Source

 

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