Deadly ’ZOMBIE’ deer disease: Outbreak ’may spread to HUMANS’ - WHO WARNING

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ZOMBIE disease is rapidly spreading across the US. And World Health Organisation (WHO) experts have warned it could be transmitted to humans.

Zombies are the nightmarish scenario where the reanimated undead relentlessly attack the living. But like the warning from a horror film, a real-life terrifying condition called Zombie deer disease is currently sweeping the USA. Now, there are growing fears the disease could even transform into an epidemic infecting humans.

Zombie deer disease, also known as Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) – attacks the brain, spinal cord and other vital organs in deer, elk and moose.

Zombie deer disease earned its fearsome name as its victims loses coordination, become aggressive and waste away.

And the debilitating disease can prove fatal in worst-case scenarios.

Zombie deer disease is spreading rapidly across North America and infected areas are expected to expand further.

Deadly ’ZOMBIE’ deer disease: Outbreak ’may spread to HUMANS’ - WHO WARNING
Zombie deer disease: There are fears it could transform into an epidemic infecting humans (Image: Getty)

Zombie deer disease: The horrific condition is also known as Chronic Wasting Disease (Image: Getty)

WHO officials have now urged humans to avoid eating any animal infected with the infection.

While there has been a concern it could become a new mad-cow-disease-like epidemic, no evidence yet exists showing humans could be affected if they eat the infected meat.

However, a recently-published study has shown that macaque monkeys can succumb to the disease after consuming tainted meat.

A Centre for Disease Control and Prevention spokesperson said: “Since 2000, the area known to be affected by CWD in free-ranging animals has increased to at least 24 states, including states in the Midwest, Southwest, and limited areas on the East Coast.

“It is possible that CWD may also occur in other states without strong animal surveillance systems, but that cases haven’t been detected yet.

"Once CWD is established in an area, the risk can remain for a long time in the environment.

“The affected areas are likely to continue to expand.

"In several locations where the disease is established, infection rates may exceed 10 percent (1 in 10), and localised infection rates of more than 25 percent (1 in 4) have been reported.

Zombie deer disease: A hunter holds his rifle in Wisconsin (Image: Getty)

Zombie deer disease: Humans have now urged to avoid eating any animal infected animals (Image: Getty)

"The infection rates among some captive deer can be much higher, with a rate of 79 percent reported from at least one captive herd."

Zombie deer disease started in Colorado and Wyoming about 40 years ago but has since spread beyond those states’ borders.

The CDC report said: “Since 2000, the area known to be affected by CWD in free-ranging animals has increased to at least 24 states, including states in the Midwest, Southwest, and limited areas on the East Coast.

“It is possible that CWD may also occur in other states without strong animal surveillance systems, but that cases haven’t been detected yet.

“Once CWD is established in an area, the risk can remain for a long time in the environment.

“The affected areas are likely to expand.”

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