Wed. Oct 20th, 2021


On November 20, 2020, two white bucks were spotted in Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewis, Delaware.

On November 20, 2020, two white bucks were spotted in Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewis, Delaware.
Pictures: Eve Humbach (Getty Images)

Now is a dangerous time for deer in America. On Monday, Minnesota officials issued an emergency order to stop local travel and imports of farm deer in hopes of reducing the spread of a universal deadly prion disease among wild deer. Meanwhile, in Vermont, wildlife officials today announced the first known case of another deadly deer disease in the state, causing widespread internal bleeding. Fortunately, no illness is currently considered a danger to humans.

Prion diseases are caused by prescribed proteins that somehow mistakenly turn themselves into dangerous versions. When a wrongly folded prion comes across its normal version, the latter also becomes a villain, eventually leading to a formation of bad prunes that destroy the body, especially the brain. Some prion diseases are transmitted through contact with infected tissues (including human flesh); Others can run in the family; And some spontaneously occur spontaneously without obvious cause. All known prion diseases are 100% fatal in both animals and humans, although it may take years, or even decades, for symptoms to appear after exposure.

Chronic wasting disease, Or CWD, is a prion disorder that can affect a variety of deer, mice, and elk. The most notable symptoms of this are severe weight loss, but among others there is confusion, shaking, lack of coordination and decreased fear of people around. Deer are commonly thought to catch CWD through contact with contaminated body fluids, although it can also be transmitted through contaminated food and drinking water.

CWD is generally rare among wild and farm deer, but many are wildlife experts Fear That disease is an urgent threat that is getting worse. Once established, the disease can spread rapidly in populated populations, and its presence can persist for a long time in soil and water where infected deer urinate and defecate (if prions are not scary enough, they are more difficult to kill than other infectious germs). ). Currently, lawsuits have been filed in 26 states, as well as Canada and parts of Europe and Asia.

This threat has forced Minnesota Natural Resources Department officials to issue their emergency orders, which will temporarily stop the import and transportation of farm white deer inside and outside the state. The decision was Requested Through a recent report of a CWD outbreak on a Wisconsin deer farm that sold deer in seven states, including Minnesota, this summer.

“The disease poses a clear, immediate and deadly threat to Minnesota wild deer and reflects these actions,” said Sarah Strom, commissioner of Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources. Statement By the agency.

This same day, the Department of Fish and Wildlife in Vermont Issued Wild deer in at least two regions of the state have their own deer-related warnings after finding the first case of episodic hemorrhagic disease (EHD).

EHD is caused by a virus (epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus) that is transmitted through the bite of midge flies. It is not contagious in deer, and it is not as deadly as CWD, but EHD can cause severe, sometimes fatal, bleeding and disability. The disease has long been present in the United States, mostly in the south, but it has expanded its range this year. In New York, it is Doubt About 700 wild deer have died from EHD this year, far more than the sporadic outbreaks of the past. Vermont officials believe their isolated lawsuits are probably related to the New York outbreak, as Vermont has borders in some cases. Since the virus is spread by midges, although the risk of infection should end soon in the winter season, at least until next spring.

EHD never did Shown To affect humans, and to eat the flesh of infected animals is not considered a direct riskThat said, EHD deer can get sick in other ways, so it is not yet recommended. The risk of CWD for humans is less obvious, but some lab studies have shown Proof That can be sent to primates in the CWD lab. But so far, no cases of human prion illness have been associated with eating or otherwise coming into contact with CWD deer. (Squirrel, On the other hand …)



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