Saturday, January 28, 2023

‘Zombie disease’ killing deer in Canada, experts concerned about it being transmittable to human

Social News'Zombie disease' killing deer in Canada, experts concerned about it being transmittable...

While most of us think that zombie exists only in movies or on televisions, it turns out that the entire zombie disease could be real and it is currently killing deer in Canada.

According to VICE World News, a strange, debilitating, and highly communicable infection is spreading throughout deer populations in Canada’s West.

Experts said that there is an epidemic of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in certain parts of Canada, which could have ecological and conservation impacts in the near future.

Margo Pybus, a wildlife disease specialist with the Alberta government’s fish and wildlife division and a researcher at the University of Alberta said, “This epidemic is raging through deer in the prairies and parklands.”

The disease was first detected in captive deer at a research facility in the late 1960s and later in wild populations in Colorado in 1981. It has since been found in 26 states.

Whereas in Canada, the disease first emerged in 1996 on an elk farm and then spread into wild populations. It was detected through a sample submitted under the hunter surveillance program, in which hunters provide samples of harvested animals to check for the disease. 

Source: Noble.org

Unlike bacteria and viruses that hijack host cells, the CWD does not involve genetic information in a prion disease infection. Instead, it is composed of amino acids like any other protein.

Deer are the most common host for the disease in North America, but CWD is capable of infecting any cervid, including elk, moose, and caribou. Infected animals eventually sicken, growing thin and weak.

In addition, they may lose their fear of humans and other predators, and exhibit drooling, stumbling, poor coordination, depression, behaviour changes, and paralysis.

These outward symptoms have led to people refer CWD as a “zombie disease”. What’s more about this is that deer can transmit his disease through animal-to-animal contact, especially in urine and saliva. 

To date, there have been no recorded cases of humans being infected by the disease. However, the U.S. Center for Diseases Control and Prevention “strongly recommends” having deer harvested from areas where CWD is known to be present before consuming it, and to not eat the meat if it tests positive.

Meanwhile, the news had gotten its way to Malaysia and netizens had a mixed reaction to the news. A netizen said that we are just about to feel the endemic stage and now, there’s another epidemic.

Some asked if this is the start of Train to Busan, while another netizen jokingly said “Looks like there’s going to be Train to Perlis soon.”

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