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“Zombie” Deer Disease Spreading Rapidly

Chronic+Waste+Disease+is+making+it%27s+way+across+the+United+States+by+way+of+deer+populations.
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“Zombie” Deer Disease Spreading Rapidly

Chronic Waste Disease is making it's way across the United States by way of deer populations.

Chronic Waste Disease is making it's way across the United States by way of deer populations.

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons/Dbenbenn

Chronic Waste Disease is making it's way across the United States by way of deer populations.

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons/Dbenbenn

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons/Dbenbenn

Chronic Waste Disease is making it's way across the United States by way of deer populations.

Kole Scheneman

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A disease known as “Chronic Wasting Disease” is spreading throughout the United States via deer and other cervid populations (ex: moose, elk, caribou).

So what’s the problem? Experts are afraid that the disease could have a chance of spreading to humans through the consumption of venison from infected deer.

“I do not believe it will spread to humans, because our brains are so different compared to a deer’s brain, and even if it did, I feel like we’d have the technology to stop it,” senior Josh Williams said. “I’m not worried that it will spread [to humans].”

This disease is nothing new though. According to NBC News, the disease was originally discovered in deer in the 1960’s, but it started to spread significantly in the early 2000’s.

“No I don’t think it will spread,” senior Bryce Winkler said. “Because it’s taken 40 years.”

But as of right now, CWD spreading to humans through infected deer is only a theory.

“I have no idea,” Mr. Donald Strasheim said. “I suppose it’s a possibility.”

Recently, social media has been classifying Chronic Wasting Disease as a “Zombie Deer Disease.”

“I think people will be very frightened, and will react like they would to another ebola outbreak,” Williams said. “I guess it won’t be as serious as that, hopefully, but people are going to freak out no matter what.”

Others, like Winkler, said the opposite.

“I don’t know,” Winkler said. “I don’t think people will be scared.”

Strasheim believed that calling CWD a “zombie disease” could be misleading.

“You know, I think it’s interesting depending on how you label it,” Strasheim said. “If you called it ‘Chronic Wasting Disease’ I don’t think people would freak out about that. However, if the media were to label it as a ‘zombie disease’ I think that would cause a lot of people to freak out. ‘Zombie’ is way more clear in our heads than ‘Wasting Disease’ is.”

In an article written by NBC News, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that “the affliction comes from a form of protein called a prion, which collects in the animal’s brain and lymph nodes.”

The disease will eventually kill the animal, but before death it can cause the animal to lose weight and coordination and increase their aggression.

The weight loss, coordination issues, and aggressive behavior is most likely why the media is calling CWD a “zombie” disease. Either way, there haven’t been any reported cases of CWD in humans so far.

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