Disease Turns Deer into Zombies and IT IS NOT A JOKE!
Known as chronic wasting disease, the fatal progressive neurodegenerative illness was first identified in the 1960s. Like mad cow, the disease is spread by prions, the zombie-like pathogenic proteins that aren’t alive and can’t be killed. When they infect an animal, they eat away at its brain, causing a cascade of symptoms that resemble dementia and eventually lead to death. While the disease is still rare, researchers believe it’s more widespread than ever due, in part, to how humans trade deer and other hoofed mammals. Unusual news that sounds more like a science-fiction story, confirmed by Michael Ocherholm - Director of the Scandinavian Center for Infectious Diseases, quoted by Vox.
Researchers have long wondered whether the disease, like mad cow, can make the leap into humans. Late last summer, we got a preliminary and frightening answer. In a paper published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, researchers from Scotland and Canada showed via an experiment in a petri dish that prions from sick animals can indeed infect human cells.