Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Deadly Zombie Virus That Can Destroy Mankind Found in U.S.

It's like a horrific blood-chilling scene straight out of The Walking Dead and it can really happen much sooner than you think.

Researchers and Scientists say a deadly zombie deer disease (Yes, the CDC actually has used the term "Zombie Deer Disease") officially known as Chronic Wasting Disease or CWD, has infected the deer population in at least 24 states and two provinces in Canada as of January 2019 and it has the horrible potential to infect humans.

The following states have reported the disease: Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. A whopping 42 counties in Nebraska reported CWD as of Feb. 19.

Experts from the University of Minnesota say CWD is a, quote, "fatal, neurological illness" that has inflicted several different types of deer. The infection attacks the brain, spinal cord, and other tissues in deer, elk, and moose, resulting in dramatic weight loss, lack of coordination, and even aggression before they eventually die.

CWD was first identified as a fatal wasting syndrome of captive mule deer in the late 1960s in research facilities in Colorado. The disease was first recognized in the wild in 1981 when a free-ranging elk from Colorado was diagnosed with the disease. By the mid-1990s, CWD had been diagnosed among free-ranging deer and elk in a contiguous area in northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming, and Canada, where subsequent surveillance studies confirmed it to be endemic and epidemic.

In several locations where the disease is established, infection rates may exceed 10 percent (1 in 10), and localized infection rates of more than 25 percent (1 in 4) have been reported,’ the CDC report says. The infection rates among some captive deer can be much higher, with a rate of 79% (nearly 4 in 5) reported from at least one captive herd.

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. The chronic wasting disease can be found in both free-ranging and farmed animals, and is known to have horrifying effects on those it infects – but, it can be years before an animal begins to show signs. Meaning human cross-infection could occur years before exhibiting symptoms, thus allowing years of spreading the virus by unknowingly infected people to other humans.

According to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, Michael Osterhold, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, issued a warning on possible effects on humans to state lawmakers. 'It is probable that human cases of chronic wasting disease associated with consumption with contaminated meat will be documented in the years ahead,' Osterhold said. 'It’s possible the number of human cases will be substantial, and will not be isolated events.' Osterhold emphasized the direness of this situation by stating, 'If Stephen King could write an infectious disease novel, he would write about prions like this.'
“If Stephen King could write an infectious disease novel, he would write about prions like this."
— Michael Osterholm
“CWD passes from animal to animal through prions, misfolded proteins that cause other proteins to misfold around them,” NPR previously reported. “Different prion diseases tend to only harm certain species, but can evolve to overcome those limitations.” Add to this that prions are nearly indestructible, capable of withstanding temperatures well above 1,000 degrees — and unlike viruses, CWD prions remain viable in the wild for years, sitting in the dirt, getting sucked up by plant roots and even just resting on inanimate objects.

Peter Larsen, an assistant professor at the U’s College of Veterinary Medicine, told lawmakers of a research project where a CWD-exposed rock was placed in a cage with hamsters — and they became infected. “If I were to model contamination, the closest thing I can think of is it would be similar to modeling radioactive material,” Larsen said as reported by the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

According to the New York Times, sick animals and cadavers can spread prions through plants and soil, which could be coated with deformed proteins for years, perhaps even decades.

Medical Scientists believe the consumption of contaminated meat or even drinking water could lead to humans getting the disease. Which comes with symptoms like vacant stare, exposed ribs, drooling, stumbling, lack of coordination, head lowering, tremors, repetitive walking in set patterns, lack of fear, aggression, and nervousness. Excessive salivation and grinding of the teeth also are observed. Most deer shows increased drinking and urination; the increased drinking and salivation may contribute to the spread of the disease and introduce the virus into our soil, plants and water supply.

My personal research through CDC reports produced over 160 filed reports about this disease and its potential effects on other animals and possible transmission to humans over time. I found a detailed report from 2003 that strangely appears to be a possible link to the disease crossover to humans as early as 1976. You can read the report entitled Fatal Degenerative Neurologic Illnesses in Men Who Participated in Wild Game Feasts --- Wisconsin, 2002 to read for yourself. Let me know what you think once you have digested (no pun intended) the facts from this report.

Or, as this report abstract from 2003 states:
"The transmission of the prion disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) to humans raises concern about chronic wasting disease (CWD), a prion disease of deer and elk. In 7 Colorado counties with high CWD prevalence, 75% of state hunting licenses are issued locally, which suggests that residents consume most regionally harvested game. We used Colorado death certificate data from 1979 through 2001 to evaluate rates of death from the human prion disease Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). The relative risk (RR) of CJD for CWD-endemic county residents was not significantly increased (RR 0.81, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.40–1.63), and the rate of CJD did not increase over time (5-year RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.73–1.16). In Colorado, human prion disease resulting from CWD exposure is rare or nonexistent. However, given uncertainties about the incubation period, exposure, and clinical presentation, the possibility that the CWD agent might cause human disease cannot be eliminated. (Emphasis Mine)
Pape WJ, Forster JE, Anderson CA, Bosque P, Bosque P, Miller MW. Human Prion Disease and Relative Risk Associated with Chronic Wasting Disease. Emerg Infect Dis. 2006;12(10):1527-1535.

The problem of the unknown incubation period is what is holding the CDC back from boldly stating potential effects on humans who may already be infected with this virus.

I could not find any official CDC reports of research on how the virus may be communicated between the animals. One of my concerns is if it can be transferred via blood-sucking insects like ticks, flies, fleas, mosquitos, etc. which could also bite humans. However, I did find this report by a Colorado CWD research team ( that does not appear in the CDC report directories I perused. The report copyrighted in 2003 does postulate my concerns of the possible insect transmission process to other animal species and thus to humans through non-deer related food consumption and drinking water.

Currently, there have been no reported cases of CWD in humans and there are no vaccines or treatments for the disease.

Read the full study published in the “Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews” at

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