Chronic wasting disease, an incurable and fatal neurological disease similar to mad cow disease, has been found in 25 states in the US, spreading as far east as New York, south into Texas and north into Canada.
There’s no threat to humans – as yet. In 2017 Canadian researchers successfully infected macaque monkeys with chronic wasting disease by feeding them the meat of infected deer. Macaques are the closest animal genetically to humans.
Animals that get the disease become extremely thin and disorientated. They stumble around, foaming at the mouth. They sometimes have insatiable thirst, constantly urinate and lose their fear of humans, as the disease eats away the animal’s brain, leaving it like a sponge with lots of holes.
Picture source: Wilfried Berns