"Zombie deer disease" could infect humans, says CDC



(WVLT) – Chronic debilitating disease (CDD) is a disease that has affected: white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. It is progressive and fatal, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Agency.

The disease damages parts of the brain, creates holes in the brain cells and gives a sponge-like appearance. Animals with the disease are usually emaciated, display abnormal behavior, lose their bodily functions, weaken and eventually die.

Previously, TWRA had stated that the disease did not seem to affect humans. Now, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention anticipate that infection in humans is possible.

According to CBS affiliate member WJHL, the CDC reported that a study conducted in 2017 had shown that monkeys eating infected deer meat contracted MDC.

At present, there is no known human case with MDC. The CDC warned the public to test venison or elk meat for CWD before eating it in the affected areas.

Signs in animals include: loss of appetite, excessive salivation, weight loss, excessive thirst, excessive urination, apathy, grinding of teeth, drooping of the head, and sagging of the ears.

For the facts on the CWD, go here. To find the Tennessee areas affected by the MDC, click here.


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