Scientists are worried a mysterious “zombie” disease killing deer could spread to humans

Rare News – January 20, 2018

Deer across North America are dying from a mysterious disease that gradually destroys the animals’ nervous systems.

And scientists are concerned that the infection could make its way 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.