In recent weeks, the news in the United States has been dominated by reports of a strange disease that has mainly affected deer living in Yellowstone National Park, in the US state of Wyoming.
According to the country's health authorities, about 800 animals have already been diagnosed with the disease. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) He can be seen staggering, running in circles, and displaying other strange behaviors, in addition to being visibly thin and weak.
This is a condition that has gained the common name “deer disease.” zombies“, there is no cure and it is extremely fatal. The disease is caused by prions, a type of infectious protein that affects the nervous system of deer and cannot be neutralized, at least not yet.
In alarming statements, North American experts from several states warned that CWD could affect humans.
Although it can infect HumansThe prions that cause zombie deer disease in humans have not yet been discovered.
According to researchers trying to understand these pathogens, infection in humans can only occur if the meat of a sick animal is consumed.
However, deer hunting is a common practice in the United States, especially in Yellowstone, where it is permitted at a certain time of the year.
Therefore, there is a risk that someone could kill an infected deer, eat its meat, and inherit the prions without knowing it, because chronic wasting disease does not show symptoms in the first days of infection. In other words, hunting of these animals should stop for now.
One expert concerned with the CWD outbreak, epidemiologist Corey Anderson, highlighted the initial difficulty the disease could bring to health authorities.
“We are dealing with a deadly, incurable and highly contagious disease. The concern is that we have no easy and effective way to eliminate it, neither from the animals it infects nor from the environment it contaminates.”
In the same interview with international media, Currie compared zombie deer disease to mad cow disease, another scary zoonotic disease.
“The mad cow disease outbreak in Britain has provided an example of how things can get worse overnight. We are talking about the possibility of something similar happening. No one is saying it will happen for sure, but it is important that people are prepared.”
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