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Chronic Wasting Disease: A potential epidemic?

Keegan Oldham, Senior Design Editor

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What was previously known as a work of fiction has since turned into a potential reality. Chronic Wasting Disease, more commonly known as the “Zombie Deer Virus,” is a transmissible spongiform that, when ingested in a species of deer, moose, and caribou, causes “Zombie”-like symptoms. These include increased salivation, nervousness, repetitive walking in patterns, lowering of the head, and grinding of the teeth.
Cases have been found in 26 states and 3 provinces in Canada with cases being centralized in Wyoming and Colorado. Cases have been found in both captive facilities and the wild. Hunters have been warned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to not eat clearly infected species and avoid eating nervous system tissues such as the brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils, and lymph nodes.
Although cases of hunters eating the disease have been found, there is no significant symptoms associated with eating the infected meat. There is a strong species barrier meaning it is highly unlikely the disease will spread past any species that is deer. However it is still not advised to eat tainted meat as it could have unpredictable outcomes.
There is no reason to fear end of the world scenarios but CWD could have a strong impact on the deer population and the hunting business.

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About the Writer
Keegan Oldham, Senior Design Editor

Keegan-Michael Key (born March 22, 1971)[1][2] is an American actor, comedian, writer and producer. He starred in the Comedy Central sketch series Key...

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Chronic Wasting Disease: A potential epidemic?