Apocalypse Now: Deer Have Already Started Becoming Zombies
The end is nigh.
This is the first story you will read about the impending zombie apocalypse.
Scientists first noticed the disease several years ago, calling it chronic wasting disease according to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The disease is scary because it turns deer into actual walking zombies, complete with protruding ribs.
And the species to species barrier that usually protects humans from contracting an animal disease though consumption has already been broken.
In fact a primate contracted the brain disease after eating infected deer meat according to the article.
So.. thank your deer hunting friend that brings a summer sausage to the company potluck at some point in the future for turning all your co-workers into brain eating zombies.
According to a virology website article on chronic wasting disease, what us regular folks might call a brain disease, scientists say it is actually a prion disease found in deer, elk, moose.
Scientists first detected the disease in Wyoming and Colorado, but it has already spread rapidly throughout North America.
Another concern is that deer could transmit the disease to cows, which would then be consumed on a large scale.
Mad cow meets the steakhouse and drive thru burger joints and we're all thankful for the 2nd Amendment after all.
The main reason the disease can spread is that direct contact isn’t the only way those aforementioned prions are transmitted. According to yet another article, this one in the New York Times, prion-infested animals and cadavers can spread prions through plants and soil, which could be coated with deformed proteins for years, perhaps even decades.
The good news for now is that the risk of human infection with chronic wasting disease appears to be low. Still, biologists warn hunters not to shoot or consume an elk or deer that is acting abnormally or appears to be sick.
Also, hunters should avoid the brain and spinal cord when field dressing game, and do not consume brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, or lymph nodes. No case of transmission of chronic wasting disease prions to deer hunters has yet been reported.
According to the first article we found from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 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.
The scariest part: Zabel said that the prions involved in the zombie disease, are probably still evolving so it's probably only a matter of time before a prion emerges that can spread to humans.