“Zombie deer” is not a problem to humanity.

Deer+roaming+freely+on+Fripp+Island%2C+SC.
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“Zombie deer” is not a problem to humanity.

Deer roaming freely on Fripp Island, SC.

Deer roaming freely on Fripp Island, SC.

Richard Ellis

Deer roaming freely on Fripp Island, SC.

Richard Ellis

Richard Ellis

Deer roaming freely on Fripp Island, SC.


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Imagine walking down the forest and seeing deer with the symptoms of Confusion, Trouble walking, Aggression, Jerky movements, Personality changes, Trouble with memory, and vision problems. Is this what you imagined the zombie apocalypse to be? If so then I got some news for you: chronic wasting disease is rampant around the country infecting over 15,000 deer. It is infecting deer and elk, and recent research and social media posts have made this story a big deal. The thing is, if your worrying about CWD, then why aren’t you worrying about every single other disease out there in the world?

 

Most importantly of all, people need to know what this “Zombie deer” thing really is, it’s not what you see in movies. The actual name for Zombie Deer is actually Chronic wasting Disease (Or CWD for short).  CWD is a misfolded protein (a prion) in a animal or a human that cannot be cured because it’s not alive. This means CWD has a 100% fatality rate no matter what you do.

 

CWD is no more different than a majority of neurodegenerative diseases. But what makes CWD different is that it can spread. This disease has been around since the 1960’s but the only reason your hearing about it everywhere now is because of how fast it is spreading. It started off in Colorado in captive deer but has now spread to 24 more states. It’s spread by contact of Saliva, Feces, Blood, and eating infected meat. If a deer infected with CWD defecates in a area, that disease will stay in that area and actually will be absorbed by the plants in that area and stay there for 16-25 months. If you manage to get yourself infected you won’t know or at least show symptoms until 1-2 years after you get infected.

 

Now here’s the twist, with all the press CWD has been getting by all your major news outlets, social media and even the CDC, there hasn’t been a SINGLE case of humans getting infected by it. With the 50 years that the disease has been around, not a single person has either contracted the disease or died from it. What the scare is, is that scientist believe there is a POSSIBILITY of it infecting humans. There are evidence on both sides that it either can or can not infect humans but a majority of scientist agree that the species gap between deer and humans is so big it’s unlikely that it will.

 

An argument many people make is that because the disease is so hard to spot and the fact it has a 100% mortality rate, it’s the biggest threat to humanity to ever exist. What people fail to misunderstand is that your not at risk unless you consume meat from a infected animal or contact their body fluids. Also how can this disease which has never infected a human be the biggest threat to humanity?

 

So Chronic Wasting Disease is nothing to worry about, your more likely to die from the flu or cancer then ever getting touched by this disease. The only reason it sounds scary is because it has the word “Zombie” in it.

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