We never knew the end of the world would involve so many fuzzy forest creatures.
The newest thing to be terrified of is called “Zombie Deer Disease.”
Have you seen Last Train to Busan‽
me, feeling cute after i catch zombie deer disease : pic.twitter.com/ogAddk6P4Y
— kris haha (@sadsereal) February 17, 2019
"zombie deer disease"
"snow in maui for the first time in documented history"
"palm desert received 4 inches of rain in a day which is usually its total annual amount" etc… pic.twitter.com/ZhJiLJF6Iq
— Ev (@elevenwaang) February 19, 2019
my tl: zombie deer disease could spread to human
— viv (@vietaekim) February 16, 2019
— uh (@aclairium) February 19, 2019
What is it‽
According to Newsweek:
“The term has been used to describe chronic wasting disease (CWD), a neurodegenerative disorder that affects deer, elk, reindeer, sika deer and moose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)”
“CWD is thought to be caused by mysterious infectious pathogens known as abnormal “prion” proteins. These damage normal prion proteins that are mostly found in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in diseases that usually progress quickly after the onset of symptoms and are always fatal. In the case of CWD, the protein damage causes holes to develop in the brain of the infected animal.”
The “Zombie” moniker likely comes from the symptoms, including:
“drastic weight loss (wasting,) stumbling, listlessness, drooling, a lack of fear and aggression.”
So if cute forest deer seems like it’s lookin’ a little dead, or if it comes near you of its own volition, which deer basically NEVER do to humans…
RUN THE OTHER WAY!
How you gonna be if you get bit by this zombie deer disease pic.twitter.com/Dpk0t9A3Rs
— Txgga.Da.Nxgga (@xM0TI0NLESSx) February 16, 2019
me after reading articles about the zombie deer disease pic.twitter.com/Dup44avMU7
— Dreyy (@andeenavs) February 16, 2019
CNN: Outbreak of new zombie deer disease in 80% of America…
— Rick Sanchez (@GrandpaRick5) February 19, 2019
— HARD FACTOR (@HardFactorNews) February 20, 2019
Here’s an interesting question: can it affect humans‽
Well, thankfully, not so far.
“To date, no cases of CWD have been reported in humans,” continues the Newsweek piece. However, that does not mean it could not happen-specifically to anybody who may have consumed contaminated venison.
“We are in an unknown territory situation,” Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told USA Today.
“It is probable that human cases of chronic wasting disease associated with consumption of contaminated meat will be documented in the years ahead. It’s possible the number of human cases will be substantial and will not be isolated events.”
This is what zombie deer look like! They usually are close to humans bc the way the disease works, it eats through the brain, making them confused n destroying basic motor skills. They call it zombie deer bc of the "zombie like trance" pic.twitter.com/QEURgIXpXC
— 𝐵𝑢𝑛𝑛𝑖 ♡ 🌸🍒18🍒🌸 (@Bakkugf) February 20, 2019
zombie deer disease??? oh hell nah pic.twitter.com/tzRFOlKCOz
— ⌜ fatima ⌟ (@fatimarellanoo) February 16, 2019
ZOMBIE DEER DISEASE IS THIS TRUE? 😢😢 pic.twitter.com/LeYWdjHYCs
— Ｅｄｗｉｎ (@dwnbldmr2) February 16, 2019
Footage of the ZOMBIE DEER DISEASE. If you see them stay at a safe distance and do not interact or touch the deers. This is looking like development of cordyceps. Very terrifying to know this can spread to humans. #ZombieDeer #mississauga #emergency pic.twitter.com/CZg6lxIKhM
— Sauga Watch Captain (@9Capt) February 21, 2019
Listen the zombie deer disease could infect humans?… pic.twitter.com/zhIhTpoHsN
— Saw my 7 angels live 💖 (@jacksssi) February 16, 2019
after hearing and reading news about that chronic wasting disease "zombie deer disease" got me like ; pic.twitter.com/ZRqLIL06vy
— 𝚌 𝚑 𝚒 🍙 (@yoitschyy) February 16, 2019
Osterholm also warned people about the risk of the similar Mad Cow Disease before the outbreak began affecting people in the late 1990s in the UK.
“We don’t want to find out 10 years from now,” Osterholm said, “that we should have been doing something in 2019 but didn’t.”
As of January 2019, 251 counties in 24 states were reporting cases of the neurodegenerative disorder in deer, elk, or moose.
Is ‘Zombie Deer’ disease the beginning of the next epidemic? 🦌 pic.twitter.com/n6oWsHbX4C
— All Def (@AllDef) February 18, 2019
so im assuming this the deer zombie disease that's supposed to wipe humanity out https://t.co/6nnEBHU5zG
— anna 🦋 (@urlocalvibe) February 20, 2019
This strange disease appears to turn deer into zombies, and it's happening nationwide, including several parts of Texas. https://t.co/Ffsh3r8hoQ
— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) February 15, 2019
PSA regarding zombie deer: the disease is called chronic wasting disease, and it's caused by a protein called a prion that "infects" the brain, similar to mad cow disease. HOWEVER, it has NOT been found to be transmitted to humans, and certainly doesn't cause deer zombies.
— Tyler Plum 🦈 (@ThatSharkDude) February 15, 2019
— veronica hernandez (@veronicaahdz13) February 16, 2019
Summary: don’t panic yet.
But you may want to skip the venison until we have more answers.
Oh, yeah, and here’s that scene from Last Train to Busan.