What is chronic wasting disease?

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a progressive, fatal disease that affects the nervous systems of deer, elk, moose, and other members of the cervid family. These prions cause damage to the brain and spinal cord of infected animals, leading to symptoms such as weight loss, behavioral changes, and physical debilitation. The disease is always fatal to infected animals.
The disease is found in wild and captive deer and elk in North America, and it has been found in wild reindeer and moose in Norway. CWD is transmitted through direct animal-to-animal contact, as well as through contact with contaminated soil, plants, and water. There is no evidence that CWD can be transmitted to humans, but it is recommended to avoid consuming meat from infected animals.
It is important to note that CWD is different from Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or Mad Cow Disease, and it is not related to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans.

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