Nevada fighting to keep ‘zombie deer’ from entering state

Nevada fighting to keep ‘zombie deer’ from entering state

They're not actual zombies, of course, but rather deer suffering from chronic wasting disease, which is highly contagious and fatal.

The situation is dire as officials fear the disease, which causes lethargy and emancipation, will devastate deer and elk populations.

As of January 2019, Chronic wasting disease (CWD), also known as 'zombie deer disease, ' has been reported in 24 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.

While states across the USA have a variety of hunting regulations related to the management of chronic wasting disease, in recent weeks states such as Nevada, Iowa, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee have either warned hunters about the disease to prevent its spread or confirmed new cases.

A state law passed this year prohibits parts of certain carcasses in the state in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease.

Those reviews lift concerns that humans may perhaps well even be affected.

The disease, which has an incubation period of at least 16 months and often longer, has been detected in eastern Utah, as well as in states including Colorado and Kansas.

Wildlife experts have warned that while still rare, the disease is virtually impossible to contain because the disease is neither viral nor bacterial and can remain in the environment for several years. The illness can abolish deer and elk populations. Wearing proper equipment while field dressing deer carcasses and minimizing time spent handling their brain and spinal tissue, where the disease originates, can also prevent infection.

J.J. Goicoechea, a state Department of Agriculture veterinarian, told lawmakers that officials fear the spread of the disease into Nebraska, Utah, Idaho and Nevada. "We know that we can't wrap Nevada in a bubble".

Wolff added that efforts to decrease the risk probably won't stop the disease at the Nevada state line.

Chronic wasting disease can incubate for more than a year before animals present symptoms, so the CDC recommends hunters test meat before consuming it and avoid eating the meat of infected venison.

Since 2000, chronic wasting disease has spread to 26 states and Canadian provinces, with the highest concentration of USA cases in Colorado and Wyoming and the border between Wisconsin and IL.

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