Chronic Wasting Disease = Mad Cow Disease = Human Disease
If you are a meat eater, is it time to worry? Maybe.
Eating meat can kill you. Remember the Mad Cow disease outbreak in Great Britain in the 1990s? Eating beef from mad cows caused the disease in man. The same disease is spreading through wildlife across the United States and Canada.
When diseased beef is consumed by humans they develop the always fatal variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) and die within months. This disease is spreading through wildlife in the United States and elsewhere. In wildlife, it is called chronic wasting disease. There have been no verified cases of transmission to humans from eating infected deer and elk meat, but based on transmissibility of mad cow disease to humans, it is possible.
When prions enter the body the infectious protein spreads in fluids, organs and muscles, accumulating in the nervous system causing progressive disability and death within months.
Prion disease has been around for decades, maybe longer. My first real interest in this strange contagious disease began with studying the neurologic disease in the Fore people of Papua New Guinea who developed Kuru spread by death ritual cannibalism. Few people worry about prion disease because they are not cannibals. But the meat you eat may be contaminated.
Thanks for stopping by.