Chronic wasting disease in deer could spread to humans if infected animals enter food chain

Rebecca Crockett
February 18, 2019 - 9:00 pm

Kansas City, MO - Chronic wasting disease, recently called by some as "deer zombification disease," due to the nature of the symptoms, has been found in a variety of deer and elk populations in 24 states including Kansas and Missouri.

The disease affects the animal's central nervous system and can result in rapid weight loss, stumbling, and inactivity.  It's also been known to make the animals more aggressive and less afraid of humans.

"If a deer looks sickly, its probably best to just leave it alone," says Ron Kaufman, with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Tourism.

Kaufman warns that if you do harvest a suspicious animal, get the meat tested before consuming it. 

The contagious disease is believed to be passed between animals through bodily fluids.

Kaufman says there's no reported cases of the disease spreading to humans, but says you should be cautious around potentially infected animals.

He assures the disease won't lead to a Zombie Apocalypse. 

The long term effects are still unknown but it is something that will continue to be monitored.


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