A bizarre and highly infectious virus is wreaking havoc on Canada’s deer herds. According to health experts, chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a concern in at least two of Canada’s provinces – Alberta and Saskatchewan. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a highly contagious disease. According to the report, CWD was initially detected at a research facility in a captive deer in the late 1960s. The same disease was later detected in wild populations in Colorado in 1981.
The chronic wasting disease has since been discovered in at least 26 states, which is now considered endemic in Oklahoma, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Montana and South Dakota.
Hunters are particularly vulnerable to this disease, as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that CWD could be spread to humans by eating infected elk or deer.
Chronic wasting disease belongs to a particular class of pathogens called prions. It belongs to the same class of bovine spongiform encephalopathies (BSE), also known as mad cow disease. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) which affects humans and scrapie which infects sheep and goats also belong to the same category as CWD.
So far, no cases have been recorded in humans so far, but the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ‘strongly recommends’ not having deer that have been harvested from affected areas by CWD and not to eat the meat if found positive. affected.