Le journal étudiant de l'École secondaire la Camaradière

The Camaradiant

Le journal étudiant de l'École secondaire la Camaradière

The Camaradiant

Le journal étudiant de l'École secondaire la Camaradière

The Camaradiant

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How Zombie Deer Will Affect The Human Population?

How+Zombie+Deer+Will+Affect+The+Human+Population%3F

A few hunters have been noticing strange behaviors in deer and other cervids because of a chronic wasting disease.

 

The first confirmed case of deer with this disease was in Yellowstone Park in October of 2023 and scientists are worried it could spread to the human population. Other cases have been detected in 32 states in the US and 4 provinces in Canada. The chronic wasting disease (CWD) is caused by prions, a degenerative brain disorder that makes the animal infected drool and trip and they often have a blank stare until they eventually die from the disease. These symptoms remind some people about zombies which is why they call it the “Zombie deer disease”.

Scientists in the US are worried the illness could spread to humans. “The mad cow disease outbreak in Britain provided an example of how, overnight, things can get crazy when a spillover event happens from, say, livestock to people. We’re talking about the potential of something similar occurring. No one is saying that it’s definitely going to happen, but it’s important for people to be prepared.” says Dr. Cory Anderson, a chronic wasting disease researcher. Ginko Bioworks, a US biotech company predicts that in 2050, the illnesses passed on from animals to humans could kill 12 times more people than in 2020. This same company thinks zoonotic disease epidemics (spillovers) might spread more in the future because of climate change and deforestation.

Scientists know no vaccine, treatment, or solution for this disorder. CWD is very hard to get rid of in an infected environment, disinfectants, and radiation,  are not enough to make it go away and it can stay persistent for years which is the most worrying part of this whole situation. “We’re dealing with a disease that is invariably fatal, incurable, and highly contagious. Baked into the worry is that we don’t have an effective easy way to eradicate it, neither from the animals it infects nor the environment it contaminates.” says Dr. Cory Anderson.  According to Dr. Thomas Roffee, CWD’s severity is “density-dependent”, in other words, when a larger number of animals gather together, the infection rates are higher.

For the moment, in Yellowstone, the authorities are trying to evolve their surveillance and treatment strategies for more sick animals in the future.

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, CWD has been found mainly in Saskatchewan and Alberta and most recently in Manitoba. In Quebec, one farmed red deer has gotten the disease. To avoid spreading the disease more in Canada, Health Canada and the World Health Organization suggest not to eat an animal that was infected. In the region, follow-up work will be done to try to slow the spread.

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Juliane is a 14 year old girl who just started reading as a hobby, even if she is a beginner she really enjoys it. She has 4 sisters and 1 annoying little dog. She is a really nice company and she is really funny. She likes to wear comfy clothes. She doesn't know what she wants to do in the future yet but I’m sure that she will find something she likes.  

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