We wrote about the fact that some weird disease was causing members of the deer population to turn into zombies over in the US a couple of weeks ago, and it turns out that if that wasn’t scaary enough then it’s possible that it might also be transmitted to humans as well.
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Chronic Wasting Disease has been around since the early 200s but for some reasons seems to have grown significantly in the deer population over the last couple of years. The disease attacks the brain, spinal cord and tissues of the those it infects, leading to aggressiveness, loss of concentration, drooling, a lack of fear of people and listlessness. You can probably see why people are referring to them as zombies after reading those symptoms hey?
Anyway, Whilst many of us probably think that it would be ‘cool’ to live in our own private episode of The Walking Dead, the truth of the matter is that it would probably really suck if it actually legitimately happened. The bad news is that this isn’t just what some idiot sci fi nerds are theorising, but actually what a fully fledged expert is thinking might go down.
Michael Osterhold – director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota – issued a warning to his state lawmakers about the impact CWD could have on humans:
We are in an unknown territory situation. It is probable that human cases of chronic wasting disease associated with consumption with contaminated meat will be documented in the years ahead.
It’s possible the number of human cases will be substantial, and will not be isolated events.
Since 2000, the area known to be affected by CWD in free-ranging animals has increased to at least 24 states, including states in the Midwest, Southwest, and limited areas on the East Coast.
It is possible that CWD may also occur in other states without strong animal surveillance systems, but that cases haven’t been detected yet.
I mean that probably is something to be worried about in the future isn’t it? Osterhold compared it to Mad Cow Disease from back in the 90s which was actually transmitted to humans and ended up destroying the brains of a few of them before it died out. CWD could be a way more serious problem though if we all turn into zombies because of it. Maybe lay off the deer for a bit.
For more zombies, check out this zombie bakery that will cure your cannibalism. Sold.