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CWD is an always fatal disease that leaves their brains full of holes. What is this always deadly state and how do people fight their spread?
[19659000] Wochit-All

Many hunters and animal experts have found the latest headlines around "zombie" deer disease bizarre as they say chronic waste disease has existed for years – and they would not describe infected animals as "zombies. "

In fact, many infected deer do not even reach the final stage of the disease, where they show symptoms (stumble, stifle, extreme weight loss)," said Lindsay Thomas Jr., Communications Manager of the Quality Deer Management Association, a wildlife conservation organization.

He said it was "confusing" to think of a deer that dies from the CWD as a scary "zombie". Instead he compares the disease with dementia, as infected animals seem more confused than threatening.

While the term could give the public the wrong impression about CWD,
Krysten Schuler, wildlife disease ecologist and co-director of the Cornell Wildlife Health Lab, said the disease is "a major problem" and she is happy that more people are aware of the. People just need to be properly informed, she said.

CWD, which is fatal to all deer contracting it, was first identified in the 1960s and is now in 24 states across the country. It is a serious contagious disease in animals, but probably will not rub an apocalypse.

Here's why:

Many seem completely normal.

Infected deer could easily die for another cause (killed by a predator or car) before showing CWD symptoms as dull, light and low weight, Thomas said. Deer, moose and moose with the disease may appear healthy for up to two years, as neurological symptoms progress slowly, according to the chronic waste disease alliance. Symptoms usually appear only during the last few months before death.

"You can't practice a deer and say if it has CWD," said Thomas, noting that hunters have shot infected animals and believe they are healthy only to find out that their deer have CWD.

Many deer suffering from chronic abrasive disease may seem quite healthy for more than a year. (Photo11: Nathan Bilow, AP)

They probably won't attack.

Deer with CWD will not eat your brains. They actually have holes in their brains that can make them less coordinated and have trouble walking, Thomas said. Deer in the last phase of the CWD could also appear weak and underweight.

Although hunters should be aware of whether the disease is prominent in their area, there is no need to fear "zombie" deer and avoid hunting, Schuler said. If that is the case, people who look at a sick deer should call local wildlife officials to test the deer, she said.

More: & # 39; Zombie & # 39; deer disease is in 24 states and thousands of infected deer eaten every year, experts warn

Nobody has infected people.

CWD has never been reported in humans. However, studies have shown that it can be transferred to animals other than deer, moose and moose, according to the chronic waste disease alliance. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told the United States today that it is possible that people could enter the disease in the future. So it is important to take precautions in infected areas. The most likely way people can get infected is if they eat infected cortex, say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are a few ways people can avoid the CWD. More: CWD: What is it and can it affect people?

Mere: & # 39; Zombie & # 39; deer disease: How to prevent it and avoid eating infected meat

Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @AshleyMayTweets

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