Zombie pathogen spreads ever further – as the First cases in Europe
New study shows: people are at risk
American authorities currently report the strong spread of a mysterious disease dubbed by the American media as the “Zombie disease”. The Name was derived from the symptoms of the disease, because the Affected with a drastic weight loss, coordination difficulties, increased saliva flow, lack of fear and aggression. So far, only animals, predominantly moose and deer are affected. In the laboratory, however, showed that even monkeys can be infected. Thus, a danger to the people was, according to the American authorities.
Researchers from the American health authority, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warn currently in front of a strong spread of the so-called “Zombie disease”. This is the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD – literally translated: Chronic wasting disease), mainly deer, elk, and reindeer attacks (for example, Wapiti, Black -, and white-tailed deer). According to the CDC’s latest study is of concern that people could be at risk. The disease ends with the animals lethal and there are currently no treatments or vaccines.
So far, no human cases known
How the American authority reported, so far, no cases of CWD infections in people reported. “Animal studies suggest, however, that CWD poses a risk for some types of monkeys”, to warn the authorities in a communication. In laboratory studies, showed that monkeys who ate meat from infected animals or in contact with the brain or body fluids came, the sick to CWD. Thus, a contagion for the people not to be ruled out.
USA, Canada, Norway, Finland, and South Korea affected
According to the CDC, has spread in January 2019, the disease in at least 24 States of the United States and in two canadian provinces and in free-living and farmed deer and elk. There are also cases in Norway and Finland have been reported. In addition, infected meat was imported in South Korea, where the first cases were reported. “Once CWD arrives in an area, can remain the causative agents for a long time in the environment”, emphasizing the health authorities.
Large Contagion Potential
In the case of the deer and elk, a large contagion has been observed potential. The disease in free-living animals in the affected areas, every tenth animal in the heavily populated areas on every fourth animal have transferred to. In the case of breeding animals in a smaller space, the infection rate is an impressive 79 percent.
How does CWD?
Researchers are current findings that the disease spreads through contact with body fluids such as feces, saliva, blood or urine between the animals. The causative agent is an abnormally folded Protein which can be passed on through the body fluids. According to observations and assessments of the American authorities, the Protein can remain for a long time without a host in the environment (water or soil), and also animals to infect, which had no direct contact with an infected animal.
CWD is a progressive, fatal disease that affects the brain, the spinal cord and many other tissues. The disease belongs to the diseases to the family of the so-called Prions, in which harmful proteins are responsible for the symptoms. Belongs to the family of the mad cow disease, which manifests itself in humans as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, for example. Researchers believe that the abnormal proteins (prions) cause damage to other healthy proteins in the body, thus leading to massive damage in the entire body, but mainly in the brain and spinal cord cause. CWD completed in all cases fatal. The incubation period of CWD can be over a year until the first neurological signs. Typical symptoms are:
- drastic weight loss (under weight),
- Coordination difficulties
- Walking difficulties,
- constant drooling,
- strong thirst,
- frequent urination,
- hanging ears,
- Loss of fear of people,
- increased irritability,