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In a disturbing development.. Silent deer zombie disease sweeps across the United States

 

In a disturbing development.. 

Silent deer zombie disease sweeps across

the United States :


Researchers have uncovered a silent and alarming phenomenon, called chronic

 wasting disease (CWD), that spreads "stealthily" among deer populations

through North American forests and pastures.


The neurological disease :

also called :

  • "deer zombie disease", was detected in some 800 deer
  • and elk samples in Wyoming alone. The disease is characterized
  • by myriad symptoms, such as drooling and lethargy.


Researchers at Nottingham Trent University have explained that

so-called "prions" (protein molecules that cause infection)


may solve the CWD mystery, where they come from distorted proteins that 

can cause natural proteins to disturb the brain, leading to neurodegeneration.


Also known as "prions" :

they are flexible and can survive in the environment for years, resisting traditional

methods of disinfection such as radiation and burning at extreme temperatures.


"Prions" diseases

such as Creutzfield-Jacob disease (CJD)

in humans and "mad cow disease" in livestock

have shown that they are able to overcome the barrier of

different species and organisms, with devastating consequences for their spread.

For example :

  • the slaughter of millions of livestock and the death of
  • 178 people from the human mutation since 1995.


Although there are no confirmed cases of CWD in humans

  • concerns persist because of several factors
  • including the ability of the "prions" responsible for CWD to
  • infect and spread human cells in laboratory conditions
  • which raises concern about possible transmission.


Humans are also "inadvertently"

exposed to animals potentially infected with the disease.


The difficulties associated with

the detection and diagnosis of "prion" diseases in humans further complicate

the situation. Unlike traditional infectious agents, "prions" do not provoke

an immune response, which is difficult to detect by traditional means.


Humans may be exposed to the disease through indirect methods

such as soil, contaminated water and other environmental sources.


Apart from immediate health concerns, the spread of CWD also poses significant

environmental and economic risks. The spread of CWD threatens to


eliminate deer and endanger food security in affected areas

where deer play a crucial role in shaping vegetation dynamics through grazing.


It is worth noting that the outbreaks of CWD in wild deer were observed in

Norway in 2016 :

  1. marking the first cases of CWD
  2. in Europe, underscoring
  3. the potential for the spread of CWD


beyond its current scope, and highlighting the need

for international cooperation in the surveillance and control of the disease.