Ever since the dawn of zombie movies, people have often wondered what kind of disease will it take to turn human beings into mindless undead. Turns out a disease is not needed at all; a president will do. Joking aside, there is now an animal disease that could actually threaten human beings with a bad infection and it is dubbed “zombie deer disease.”
Apparently, the said disease affects deer, elk and moose species. It makes them behave in a strange and often more aggressive manner without their control. It is quite similar to the mad cow disease but now, it seems the zombie deer disease is more widespread as it has proliferated throughout half the United States and even some parts of Canada.
The said disease is called exactly Chronic wasting disease (CWD) and attacks the brain and spinal cord, rendering the victims confused and aggressive. It is currently incurable and the symptoms could take a while to appear, meaning a hunted deer or some roadkill with hooves could look healthy enough to be consumed by humans, passing the disease on to them.
Also, the disease should not be underestimated since like mad cow disease, CWD might be able to develop or mutate to have a human variant as well.
“It is probable that human cases of CWD associated with the consumption of contaminated meat will be documented in the years ahead,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease and Research Prevention. As a pre-emptive precaution, Canadian authorities are already advising against consuming or coming in contact with deer, elk, or moose populations.
On a final note, Osterholm also suggested that “If Stephen King could write an infectious disease novel, he would write about prions like this.” Stay away from Bambi folks, he’s out for blood.