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Zombie Deer Disease

Zombie Deer Disease mind map
Recent News
Spreading across United States
Detected in Yellowstone
Case in November 2023
Affects
Deer
Elk
Moose
Spread to new locations
Rapid spread recently
Detected in 31 US states
Three Canadian provinces
Norway, Finland, Sweden, South Korea
When
First detected
Mid-1960s
Penned deer in Colorado
Why
Origin unclear
Possible species barrier jump
From sheep with scrapie
What
Chronic Wasting Disease
No cure
No test for living animals
Deadly neurological disease
Infectious
Long incubation period
Symptoms
Listless
Weight loss
Aimless behavior
Oblivious to danger
Emaciation
Drooling
Prion diseases
Always fatal
Affect different species
Creutzfeld-Jakob disease in humans
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy
Prion structure
Nearly indestructible
No genetic material
Resistant to high temperatures
Where
Confirmed locations
30 U.S. states
Four Canadian provinces
Norway, Finland, Sweden, South Korea
Who
Key researchers and organizations
Dr. Allan Houston
University of Tennessee
Ames AgResearch and Education Center
Dr. Cory Anderson
CWD transmission expert
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
How
Spread mechanisms
Bodily fluids
Faeces
Saliva
Blood
Urine
Environmental contamination
Social behaviors of deer
Contamination persistence
Decades in soil
Herdwide impact
Varies by location
Infection rates 1% to 100%
Cons and/or Challenges
No cure or vaccine
Hard to eradicate from environment
Potential species jump risk
Infection risk for non-human primates
Way Forward
Research efforts
Soil and twig sample analysis
Deer behavior studies
Early warning system development
Hunter involvement in research

Zombie Deer Disease, officially known as Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), is a fatal, contagious neurological disorder affecting deer, elk, and moose. First detected in Colorado in the 1960s, it has since spread across various parts of the United States, Canadian provinces, and countries like Norway, Finland, Sweden, and South Korea. The disease, caused by prions, has no known cure or vaccine and is challenging to eradicate from the environment. It can spread through bodily fluids, and infected animals display symptoms like weight loss, listlessness, and drooling. While there are no recorded cases in humans, there is concern about its potential to jump species.

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