Have Deer In Washington State Been Infected By Chronic Wasting Disease?

An avid hunter might have heard of "Zombie" deer but it sounds like an episode of The Walking Dead for novices.

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New Research Suggests That CWD Is A Danger To Humans, Not Just Deer Or Elk

"Zombie" deer sadly is a reality and 31 states have confirmed cases of a deadly disease that's making its way westward. Montana and Idaho both have had reported cases of Chronic wasting disease

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What is Chronic wasting disease you ask?

CWD is a contagious and fatal neurological disease that affects members of the deer family, including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose. It is caused by a misfolded protein called a prion, which damages the animal’s nervous system and eventually leads to death.

Tom Tietz
Tom Tietz
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CWD was first identified in Colorado in the 1960s and has since spread to over 31 states and 3 Canadian provinces.

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Humans so far haven't been infected but new research according to an article from Yahoo.com suggests that the disease is more transferable to humans than previously suggested.

Scientists suggest that the disease is transmitted from contaminated food and water. A reason they call it a "Zombie" disease is that it can take up to two years to manifest.

Signs that an animal is infected include excessive salivation, weight loss, lack of coordination, and abnormal behavior. Infected animals may also appear lethargic and have drooping ears.

So far, no cases have been reported in Washington, Oregon, or California but officials say if you see a sick deer, you might want to report it to the CDC. 

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