CDC Warns of Spike in Cases of Chronic Wasting Disease in Deer, Elk and Moose

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PetMD Editorial
Published: February 18, 2019
CDC Warns of Spike in Cases of Chronic Wasting Disease in Deer, Elk and Moose

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been monitoring a spike in the number of documented cases of a rare disease found in deer, moose and elk.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD)—dubbed “zombie deer disease” by the media—had been documented in 251 counties in 24 US states as of January 2019.

Chronic Wasting Disease Map from CDC

Image via CDC

According to the CDC, CWD “is a prion disease that affects deer, elk, reindeer, sika deer and moose. It has been found in some areas of North America, including Canada and the United States, Norway and South Korea.”

Chronic wasting disease is being called “zombie deer disease” because it affects the brains of the animals. The CDC says that chronic wasting disease symptoms can include “drastic weight loss (wasting), stumbling, listlessness and other neurologic symptoms.”

Currently, there are no treatments or vaccines for the disease, which means that it is fatal once contracted.

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