‘Zombie’ deer disease could spread to humans, experts warn

People who eat deer meat could be at risk of contracting a deadly infectious disease that is spreading across the animals’ US populations, experts have warned.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) –dubbed “zombie” deer disease – has infected deer, elk and moose across 24 American states and two Canadian provinces.

The disease attacks tissues including the brain and spinal cord, causing dramatic weight loss, loss of coordination, listlessness, drooling, excessive thirst or urination and intense aggression before the animal dies.

Up to 15,000 infected animals are eaten each year, a number that could rise by 20 per cent annually, according to Michael Osterholm, an expert in infectious disease from the University of Minnesota.

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Source: The Independent