Although the disease is turning deerin zombies, it sounds like a phrase from a low-budget horror movie, in reality, a disease affecting deer around the world can adapt to infecting other creatures, including humans. What kind of disease is this and is there any way to protect yourself from it? It seems that the zombie apocalypse really can someday come, so it is important for people to be prepared for it.
What is chronic debilitating disease?
Deer zombie disease, or just"Chronic debilitating disease" was first discovered in the US state of Colorado, where the first victims of this mysterious disease were found. Some wild populations of elk and white-tailed deer became affected by the then unknown disease. A dangerous disease is thought to be spread by uninfected animals coming in contact with contaminated urine, blood, saliva, or any other body fluids.
Although the victims of a strange diseasebecoming more and more, scientists still do not know what exactly is the causative agent of the disease. At the moment, it is believed that the disease is caused by prions - infectious agents represented by special proteins that are able to invade a healthy nerve cell in the body and gradually destroy it.
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Chronic debilitating disease is consideredfatal, and modern medicine is not yet able to cure him. Despite this, scientists were able to classify it as a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, highlighting the disease as one of the twelve known diseases of this type, including “mad cow disease”. Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are characterized by what are caused by prions and affect the brain of patients, often leading to the formation of many small holes throughout the cortex of their brain, giving it a spongy appearance. This is one of the reasons why such diseases are sometimes called “zombie” diseases.
Deer infected with chronic debilitatingdisease, go through a long, slow deterioration. The first symptoms noticeable in an infected deer are difficulties with coordination of movements, as well as uncontrolled salivation, which can contribute to an increase in the spread of the disease. Almost all cases of chronic debilitating disease also entail behavioral changes in the affected deer, as their brain gradually becomes like a sponge. Similar behavioral problems may include decreased socialization with other animals, unusual lowering of the head, lethargy, increased nervousness, tremor, and repeated patterns of movement.
Can a zombie virus infect humans?
To date, there have been noa reported case of the spread of chronic debilitating disease in humans. However, scientists continue to warn the public about the possibility of spreading the disease to people through the use of infected meat. Researchers believe that without the timely capture of infected animals, a “zombie disease” can take on the nature of an epidemic among people in a few years, due to its incredible contagiousness and adaptability.
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Currently, the foci of the disease werefound in the forests of the USA, Canada and Northern Europe. Despite the fact that no cases of human morbidity have yet been identified, experts conducted laboratory experiments to see if the disease could potentially affect human organisms. Researchers have found that in a Petri dish, prions from an infected deer sample can infect human cells. So, although the zombie apocalypse is unlikely, its onset is still possible once.