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Old 02-24-2019, 09:10 PM   #1
WebSlave
Zombie Deer Disease

Everyone and everything can be a zombie these days....

https://www.vox.com/2019/2/21/182332...er-disease-map

If it spreads to squirrels, I hope they don't come after me in droves. Maybe I need to stock up on more ammo, just in case.
 
Old 02-27-2019, 12:30 PM   #2
Pasodama
How unfortunate that this disease exists.

Thankfully, I don't eat deer meat so whether, or not, it can infect humans, who consume deer meat, I think I'm safe.
 
Old 02-27-2019, 03:14 PM   #3
Socratic Monologue
I don't know who came up with the clickbaity 'zombie' name, but CWD has been in Wisconsin at least since 2001. The county I live in has no known cases, but we are on the watch list for the spread of the disease.

I don't know the current details of the management plan, but DNR has experienced funding cuts and nearly wholesale removal of science and research positions during Walker's governorship (well, he trashed this state pretty badly in general, so it is no surprise that DNR got slashed). Opinion among hunters here tend to be pretty critical of the lack of state interest in controlling CWD. We even have landowners who manage their properties so as to get lots of big bucks (old bucks carry and transmit CWD much more than other deer), so it isn't only the state that isn't thinking strictly short term on this.

That's an intersting article that Vox linked to, written by Scottish and Canadian scientists. Luckily some countries still fund research...
 
Old 02-27-2019, 05:51 PM   #4
WebSlave
Reading about these infections prions is a real trip. A very scary trip too.
  1. They are not alive, so they cannot be killed.
  2. It is extremely difficult to destroy them. Cooking meat does nothing to them.
  3. Once you get them, tough luck on you, because there is no cure for them.
  4. They are tough to detect, with some blood tests only being developed VERY recently. But see #3 and think about what it means if you are diagnosed as being infected.
  5. They are usually spread in meat products that are eaten. See #4 and think about what the chances are that ALL meat you eat has been tested.

Sleep well tonight.
 
Old 03-22-2019, 03:17 PM   #5
wvaherp
Quote:
Originally Posted by WebSlave View Post
Reading about these infections prions is a real trip. A very scary trip too.
  1. They are not alive, so they cannot be killed.
  2. It is extremely difficult to destroy them. Cooking meat does nothing to them.
  3. Once you get them, tough luck on you, because there is no cure for them.
  4. They are tough to detect, with some blood tests only being developed VERY recently. But see #3 and think about what it means if you are diagnosed as being infected.
  5. They are usually spread in meat products that are eaten. See #4 and think about what the chances are that ALL meat you eat has been tested.

Sleep well tonight.

Agreed... This particular prion disease is pretty scary. Especially since the vector seems to be a something that can't be readily controlled like it was with "mad cow" or "scrapie" (the consumption of specific organs and tissue from infected animals). Instead it seems to be spreading through fecal material and bodily fluids and can also be found in muscle tissue. It is correct that it's not new (I believe it was discovered in 1960's), but the more recent spread of it makes me think something in it's whole dynamic might have changed.

Based on some of the things I've read on it and some other fairly recent discoveries about other diseases, I'm really curious if there's an undiscovered viral component to this. Not that it would be easy to treat, but at least we have limited means to fight viruses. These prions seem like you could just about use them for insulating tiles on a space shuttle without hurting them!

I'm not a biologist or virologist or any other "ologist" so I could easily be (and probably am) wrong on any of these points, but these are my thoughts after looking into things...
 
Old 03-22-2019, 03:33 PM   #6
Socratic Monologue
Scrapie is an interesting case. Not only is it understood that there is no transmission risk to humans (in the 250 years we've known that scrapie existed), there are sheep with genetic resistance to it. Certain individual sheep have genetic markers that make them resistant, and so a person can buy these genetically tested animals to breed resistance into their flocks. Certain breeds are also more or less susceptible; I keep Katahdin hair sheep, and that breed has no record of ever having an infected animal.
 
Old 03-22-2019, 05:21 PM   #7
wvaherp
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
Scrapie is an interesting case. Not only is it understood that there is no transmission risk to humans (in the 250 years we've known that scrapie existed), there are sheep with genetic resistance to it. Certain individual sheep have genetic markers that make them resistant, and so a person can buy these genetically tested animals to breed resistance into their flocks. Certain breeds are also more or less susceptible; I keep Katahdin hair sheep, and that breed has no record of ever having an infected animal.
One can only hope our knowledge with this example of a spongiform encephalopathy will help us in the future. My biggest worry is if and more likely where/when it will jump the species barrier since it's literally in our back yards and could easily jump to any number of species we interact more directly with (like dogs or cats).
 

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