Chronic debilitating disease spreads in Wisconsin: Should humans be concerned?


Hunters love the thrill of hunting in Wisconsin, but since more deer are infected with chronic debilitating disease (CDD), should they consider retiring? In addition, should humans also be concerned about the infection?

According to The Cap Times, cases of CWD have occurred in this state since 2002. At that time, the state would then kill entire herds in commercial deer farms in order to eliminate the problem. Commercial farms should also be sanitized.

However, in 2013, the Ministry of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) authorized certain facilities where infected deer are kept in operation. This precedent is still being played today.


Now the affected facilities are no longer allowed to move live deer on their premises, reports The Cap Times. However, they may choose to keep untouched deer alive.

The diary explains how officials perceive this reaction: it was about keeping the MDC inside the barriers of infected facilities. However, there are currently 9 CWD infected deer facilities still in operation.

Can MDC spread to humans?

The chronic wasting disease is a highly contagious brain disease that affects deer, elk and moose populations.

According to the CDC, scientists believe that this is caused by proteins called prions. Prions spread among animals through body fluids or contaminated food or water.

Scientists also believe that prions remain long after the death of an infected animal, which makes the disease difficult to prevent.

Currently, the researchers know no danger to humans, and the CDC said that no case of CWD infection had been reported in humans.


However, the CDC mentions that several studies have shown that MDC transmission in mice and monkeys carry genes similar to humans.

In addition, the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance reports 3 rare cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans (4).

In 1997/98, three young adults had extremely rare CJD. The disease has symptoms similar to those of MDC.

The three young adults ate venison, which raises concerns about whether or not there was a case of transmission of CWD. However, the CDC found no direct evidence of this concern, says the CWD Alliance.

Despite the complete absence of cases of chronic debilitating disease in humans, the CDC states:

"These experimental studies raise the concern that MDC may pose a risk to people and suggest that it is important to prevent human exposures to MDC." Research on risk for humans is still ongoing.


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