'ZOMBIE DEER': Nevada officials warn against spread of sickly elk, deer
Aidan Wallace
October 8, 2019
October 8, 2019 10:05 AM EDT
A “zombie deer” is on the loose.
Nevada officials are hunting down a deer with a highly contagious chronic wasting disease (CWD) that may be making its way across the Utah state line, the New York Daily News reports.
The situation is dire as officials fear the disease, which causes lethargy and emaciation, will devastate deer and elk populations.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that chronic wasting disease could threaten humans.
According to the CDC, there are no confirmed cases of CWD in people but studies have shown there is a risk when the disease comes into contact with non-human primates, such as when monkeys eat meat from an infected animal.
The CDC also says CWD can take up to a year for an infected animal to feel the effects of the disease. It is fatal and there are no vaccines or treatments.
The disease doesn’t always show symptoms. So while Nevada officials continue to monitor migratory elk and deer populations for the disease, there are no quarantine guarantees.
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CWD targets a deer’s brain and spine, both of which have banned from being imported from out of state in an attempt to curb spread of the disease.
It may not be enough though, as officials warn an outbreak of CWD could spread across Nebraska, Utah, Idaho, and Nevada, New YorkDaily News reports.