Scientists Warn: Brain-Wasting ‘Zombie Deer Disease’ Could Spread To Humans

by | Jan 22, 2018 | Headline News | 46 comments

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    Deer across North America have been dying from a disease which attacks their nervous system gradually destroying it. And now scientists are concerned that this brain-wasting “zombie disease” could spread to humans.

    Chronic wasting disease, or “zombie deer disease,” was first observed in 1967 in Fort Collins, Colorado, and has since infected wild herds in 24 states and Canada, as well as in South Korea and Norway, NPR reported.  “CWD passes from animal to animal through prions, misfolded proteins that cause other proteins to misfold around them,” NPR reported. “Different prion diseases tend to only harm certain species, but can evolve to overcome those limitations.”

    In some herds, as many as half of the animals carry prions. But direct contact isn’t the only way prions are transmitted.  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.  An animal infected with the disease can live for up to two years before showing any signs of symptoms, such as a vacant stare, thick saliva, exposed ribs, or drooping heads.

    There have been no reported human illnesses due to the disease, and scientists don’t have conclusive evidence that the infected meat has ever harmed people, suggesting a “species barrier” between humans and deer.

    “While most research shows there’s a robust species barrier, this recent study showed that barrier might not be quite as robust as we once thought,” Matt Dunfee, head of the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance in Fort Collins, Colorado, told NPR. Researchers led by Mark Zabel, associate director at Colorado State University’s Prion Research Center, found that macaque monkeys who ate infected deer contracted the disease. This is the first time the disease was shown to spread to a primate through the ingestion of infected meat.

    Zabel and his team also found that the prions involved in the “zombie disease,” which scientists have only known about for 50 years, are probably still evolving, “which leads us to believe it’s only a matter of time before a prion emerges that can spread to humans,” NPR reported.

    Mad Cow disease, for example, is a prion disease that rooted from scrapie, a deadly disease that afflicts sheep. Once the prions were passed to cows, the cows developed a prion disease of their own (mad cow disease). And when humans ate the beef from those sick cows, they developed prions in their own brains. As of 2016, according to the Food and Drug Administration, 231 people had died from the condition. -AJC

    In an interview with The New York Times, Zabel said he believes the only way to stop CWD is by utilizing controlled burns. “There’s a lot that we still don’t know and don’t understand about the disease,” Zabel also said.

    Dunfee told NPR, “if you are hunting in an area where CWD is found, have your animal tested. If it comes back positive, don’t eat the meat.”


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      1. Its a problem here in N michigan.
        I blame the use of bait piles , but honestly have no idea.
        Lets hope it dosent effect humans , there are alot of people here who rely on venison as a main staple in their diet .

        • I have read that GMO corn used for bait is a problem as well as Round-Up.

          • I think you might be on to something. My guess is it’s man-made.

            • I think people gave it to the deer!

        • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, also known as mad cow, or CJD, was probably exacerbated after the spinal columns and brain matter was added to grain, and grain products used as feed for cattle and dairy cows, and labeled as “fortified protein meal / feed / grain.” It was a huge error for rendering companies to sell such products to feed companies. Often the products came from cattle that died in transit or prior to being received which meant the meat could not be used for human consumption. It was a cost-saving measure to grind up the spinal column, bones, and brain and add that to grain as a supplement.

          The one way people get this illness, far away from modern civilization, is when cannibalization is practiced by a populace. The eating of human flesh is forbidden for a reason. When that taboo does not exist the end result is transmission of the disease to others.

      2. I thought we already have zombies known as libturds.

        • “BRAINS!!!, I smell BRAINS!!!!, I want “BRAINS”…. damn just couldn’t help it (as I munch down on a paltry puny liberal skull…. a man could starve to death if a zombie lurking about a University).

        • “Brain-Wasting ‘Zombie Deer Disease’ Could Spread To Humans”

          Yep, another form of liberalism disease.

      3. Its cronic wasting disease. Its caused by overpopulation. There are too many deer for the habitat so they move into populated areas. And they become weak due to the inferior non fit deer surviving and reproducing. If you properly cook the deer meat and don’t handle the brains you will not get sick.

        • That is not true. It is nearly impossible to destory prions, which are a protein that is not alive.

          Even after autoclaving autopsy instruments Creutazfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) remains. The same for any instruments used, in surgery, on CJD patients. At the present time the only way to properly diagnose CJD is by autopsy. Many people in the US that die from Alzheimer’s probably have CJD and were misdiagnosed.

          If you want to take the risk of eating deer meat, go ahead. But giving people inaccurate information is unconscionable. Your ideas are speculation based on no facts. Period.

          • I think the deplorable phil is full of crap. Its folks who eat raw meat that get sick. Thouroughly cooked food kills every disease. Something not alive bullcrap. Yep Ive never cooked anything that was still slive. And we eat deer on a regular basis. And I do also get road kill deer and eat them. We also rase tame Rabbitt and eat it. and kill wild rabitt and eat them. And have done so for my entire life. No rabbit fever. because its properly cooked. No I would not eat a sick animal like the one pictured. But if its still ambulatory (walking dead) a cow will be still slaughtered and the meat ground up & sold to McDonalds.

            • I am not surprised that you chose an ad hominem attack.

              For those interested in learning about prion disease, this link provides basic information and links to WHO which provide further information on how to deal with prion diseases.


              I really don’t care about an old person with a bad attitude. If you die that will not be a loss. But to pass on dangerous information to others is criminal.

            • You can go to the CDC dot gov site / prions and read the information for yourself.

              Here is a quote from a 25-page CDC PDF (it’s free): “The cellular prion protein is predominantly composed of the α-helix structure and is almost devoid of β-sheet, whereas about 43% of scrapie prions are composed of β-sheet (60). Other distinguishing characteristics of prions include their resistance to inactiva- tion by proteolytic enzymes, conventional disinfectants, and standard sterilization methods (63). Prions are abnormal conformers of the cellular prion protein, the presence of which appears to be a prerequisite for the replication and propagation of prions (14). Although the exact mechanism of prion replication remains unclear, the agent is believed to promote the conversion of the cellular prion protein into the abnormal conformer by an autocatalytic or other unidentified process (66, 68).”

              Prions are very difficult to destory. In fact, they are not a living organism. I have followed and read mad-cow for at least 25 years. The discovery that the disease was transmitted via a protein, namely a prion, was controversial at the time but as the CDC website I linked shows, that is now considered as accepted science.

              I suggest anyone interested in the topic start at the CDC site I linked and do their own research and reach their own conclusions.

              • Please note that prions are “resistant” to conventional disinfectants and standard sterilization methods (including autoclaving).

                Science does not yet have the answers to everything and prions are still being studied. I am not claiming ultimate knowledge. I based my comments on publicly available information.

                The only way to not infect others is to bury or melt any instruments used after autopsy to determine a prion disease.

                The only way to be certain you are eating clean meat that is not infected is to submit the head of an animal for testing and have the brain matter tested prior to consumption. I advise any Hunter to abide by the standard protocols and submit the head to an approved agency for testing in advance of consuming such meat.

                Prions can survive radiation and autoclaving, thus, cooking, at any temperature, will not destroy them.

                For the record, I am not against hunting nor the eating of meat, in any way. My concern is for the transmission of an incurable brain disease. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy was able to pass from cows to humans. What makes anyone think that CWD cannot do the same and pass from deer/elk/moose to humans? To think that this is not possible is to ignore previous evidence.

        • OLD

          Do you think the overpopulation of deer could mean that there will be food shortages, and we will be forced to hunt?

      4. How much would it cost to have the meat tested?

        In areas where people hunt deer, round up deer, test, release the healthy after tagging them; and destroy the infected. Is that such a big challenge?

        And don’t eat monkey or bring humans to the USA from Continents where monkey is on the menu.


        • used to cost $30 and you drop the head off at the DOW. if it comes back positive in a few weeks they dont make you eat the meat.

        • Round up deer? how stupid are you. If and that’s a big if you where able to somehow manage to catch all the deer in a area. When you attempted to handle them many would die from fright and stress. I was walking in my field one day and some deer jumped up and when they attempted to jump the woven wire fence one got a rear leg caught. I was only about a 100feet away. and by the time I got there the deer was already dead. A young doe without any injury. It was good eating.

      5. Good story on a growing problem for meat-eaters in this country! A book I read on mad cow disease in ’05, “Brain Trust,” by Colm Kelleher, provides a huge amount of info on prion protein disease in cattle, sheep, deer, and possibly other animals. My mom died of CJD (mad cow disease) in that year in MN. In a sick animal, anything that touches the brain is contaminated, and some researchers say it may spread to other organs. Eat meat, but always check where it comes from. We only have organic, grass-fed, and free range meat sources!BTW this author asserts that our USA CDC and FDA groups routinely fudge data on animals as well as human deaths.

      6. CDW doesn’t affect humans.
        The thing is they are trying to spot hunting so you can’t put food in your freezer.

        IT IS ALL B.S.


        • should say stop hunting.

          • Not here Dale , no stopping hunting !
            There are alot of extra hunts to thin the herd.
            Deer gone wild , haha .
            I have twenty or more in my yard with the turkeys every morning and afternoon . They flood the roads like possums and porcupines.
            Im sure the insurance company lobbies push the extra hunts !
            Besides hunting season here is 12 months a year , day and night and all species , lmao .

          • SGT is absolutely 100% correct.

            We have chronic wasting disease here in a small population of mules and white tail,
            My grandfather taught me what to look for and that’s just dark spots on the lungs doesn’t affect the meat in any way.
            Oversimplified I’m told its basically tubuculosis for ungulates. Correct??

            • I always look at the lungs and liver after gutting the deer. We had marinated deer steak on the grill Sunday and it was delicious and I’m still munching on the leftovers. I was fortunate enough to put eleven in the freezer this season. I got no plans on quitting. I put apples out at the farm this year from my trees to bring in the deer and it did as well as the corn has in the past.

      7. Sarge, agreed. Anyone who tells my relatives in GA to stop hunting will have a war on their hands. They all grew up in the outdoors. They all knew how to handle weapons and strip them down for maintenance before they were even teenagers. This includes the women too. And some of them are better shots than the men.

        • It doesn’t matter. There is no need to become emotional or take this as an affront to your family or the hunting way of life.

          Testing the brain matter is the only way to verify CWD, in deer; or CJD, in humans. If I had a family I would consider that as standard protocol.

      8. I should also add I’d go to war so I could keep on having venison. Venison is always good eating.

      9. I hear it’s still a couple counties away from us. I don’t think there’s a cure. So F it…keep filling the freezer and the cold cellar with frozen and canned speed beef.

        I get a lot of burger so I make a lot of jerky:

        5 lbs ground meat (mix in some hamburger if you like)
        3/8 cup soy sauce
        3/8 cup vinegar
        1/2 cup black strap molasses
        1 TBSP hot sauce
        1 TSP cayenne pepper
        5 TSP cure salt (optional. Can use regular salt)
        4 TSP black pepper
        3 TSP Cajun seasoning
        3 TSP onion powder
        3 TSP garlic powder
        2 TSP ground ginger
        4 TSP liquid smoke
        2 TSP cumin
        2 cups brown sugar

        Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Heat for a minute or so in microwave to help dissolve ingredients.

        Pour into large bowl containing burger and mix by hand until well blended. Load into jerky shooter and fill dehydrator trays and dry. Takes about 5 hours if you use lean meat…longer if more fat.

        Cool and store in Ziploc bag in fridge.

        I make about 5 lbs of this every week to go along with my home made wine. It never lasts a whole week.

        You can half the recipe but 5 lbs fill my 4 trays just right.

        • Been looking for a couple of new recipes for jerky. Getting ready to pull some older stuff out of the freezer and slice it up for the dehydrator. Thanks JRS! I did take up some large cuts to a local processor and had some Pastrami done. It was the bomb!

      10. Yeah right, tell that to the 231 people who have died from prion disease. There is no cure for it.

      11. Bovine to human
        I don’t think so

        I have two ways of thinking here
        1 it’s because the frog kissers and tree huggers that don’t want em killed
        2 it’s because their dumb

        I say put them in a car doing 70 and throw Bambi right out in front of them
        How do you like her now ?
        Plus it’s good food if managed well
        And these herds in some areas are not being managed well for their locations
        Need more hunted and placed nicely between potatoes and corn on the cob
        It’s what should be for dinner

        • There is room for all Gods creatures right next to the mashed potatoes and gravy!

      12. This disease had already infected 90% of the Americans.

      13. had a venison roast and home canned stewed tomatoes for sup tonite!!

      14. …..and a couple of beers.

      15. . . . “it’s because their dumb”

        Oh deer . . .

      16. What is strange is that this disease is only caused by cannibalism or herbivores eating meat. Sounds like it’s weaponized. Prions could be sprayed in an aerosol or added to food and water or vaccines. And it takes up to 10 years for humans to get it. So if they can expose us to it for 10 years everyone who is not resistant will be died.

      17. I know Monatana has advised people to send in the head, for CWD testing, for at least 10 years.

        Ignore this information at the peril of yourself and your family. My idea of the good life doesn’t include drooling on myself while someone changes my diaper.

      18. Jim LMFAO that is going in my book if shit to use.

      19. They have deer farms in Kentucky where they raise deer. they collect the does urine to make deer sent for hunters to use to attract bucks. they sell the meat and hides. One farm had a buck deer that had a exceptional rack of horns. And it started looking like the deer pictured. the gave it all sorts of vaccines and medicine and it wasn’t doing any good. Then a old guy retired veteranarian looked at it and stated that the bacteria in its digestive tract has died. So they took the bacteria from a healthy deer and put it in the sick buck. And it quickly recovered. There Is a U tube video about it.

      20. Oh horrors what if snowflakes and antifa come down with this?

        • They don’t have brains.

      21. In Great Britain during the Mad Cow outbreak, they required that the dead cows be burned in special ovens built for higher temperatures. They wanted the cows to be burned completely. Was it really necessary or simply out of excessive caution? Don’t know.

        • That is because a prion, the protein that causes mad cow, is nearly impossible to destroy. Even autoclaving doesn’t remove it from instruments. Cooking doesn’t do anything to it, either. A prion is a protein.

          There is a reason there have been some taboos for generations. Cows were never meant to eat other cows. Feed products were contaminated with downer cows and products from rendering plants that were sold to feed companies as a way to fortify the grain with protein (basically they used the brains and spinal columns from downer cows and added that as a supplement).

          Very bad practice. Have people learned? Based on some of the comments here, no. Far to many peope are ignorant about how prion diseases are transmitted.

      22. They have the ability to cause zombies in humans. Remember the fact that when a Hollywood movie is released it some what is a warning of whats to come. Now being virus or food alteration by dna or even dna alterations via medications like antibiotic cipro or flu shot who knows cus there are so many avenues of such. May be even human in McDonalds meat? Fact is if zombies in humans did ever occurs gotta blame on something other than actual liability or cause. Once upon a time mad cow was in question then smoking bath salts now deer meat. Past 7+ years tons of zombie related movies and even tv like walking dead released kinda like an instruction video training for survival

      23. This is making me feel better about raising my own goats. I need to get a barrier up that keeps the deer from visiting. All my goats are tested for CAE, CL and Johnes(another wasting disease, similar to Crohns). Right now I’m raising them to sell to the pet market and milk, and I loan out the boys for stud service(and test them before they leave and after they come back). But come TEOTWAWKI, the boys will service my girls and then into the freezer they go.

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