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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

Chronic Wasting Disease (deer) Spreads

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Technophobe View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 07 2017 at 7:27am
Deer hunting restrictions have been extended into Kent county and part of Montcalm county, since the 10th case of the disease has been identified, in an attempt to contain the spread.

Chronic Wasting Disease is a form of spongiform encephalitis (like mad cow disease)  and is caused by prions.  It is highly contagious and symptoms may take years to become apparent.

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 07 2017 at 8:58am
^Thanks!  I've been railing about this for years....CWD prion is passed from animal to animal via saliva, urine etc. (since whitetail deer do not eat other whitetail deer)!  

This concerns me in the upper midwestern US, since whitetail deer and dairy cattle often graze in the same fields and meadows.  Deer seem to like the company of the cattle, I think it gives them a feeling of protection against predators. 

However, the bovines would easily be able to become infected with CWD, initiating a new round of Mad Cow in the USA.  It may already be incubating in hunters who have eaten infected deer or elk meat. 

Prions may be the end of humanity, I could see it.  No treatment, no vaccine, long latency period.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 07 2017 at 10:40am
 ..................'And the absolute requirement of extinction-causing-disease,: ................Other host species to spread it and to act as a reservoir whilst the 'target' species is diminishing into small isolated groups.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 07 2017 at 2:06pm
Originally posted by Technophobe Technophobe wrote:

 ..................'And the absolute requirement of extinction-causing-disease,: ................Other host species to spread it and to act as a reservoir whilst the 'target' species is diminishing into small isolated groups.

If we are dealing with a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), like chronic wasting, we have all the pieces we need.  

Reservoir would be white tail deer, elk, and eventually other ruminants like dairy cattle.  

The incubation period of prion illnesses is so long that, by the time it is recognized that there is an ongoing outbreak, a substantial population will have been exposed.  

I cannot donate blood because I lived & worked in the UK during the mad cow disease cull, and of course I ate British beef (I figured my risk of New Variant CJD was probably very low), so I know this one very well.  

There are other TSE for mink, sheep etc.    CWD concerns me a great deal.

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