|Can Humans Get CWD?
Though many observers try to compare CWD with "mad cow disease", the diseases are distinctly different. Currently, there is no evidence that CWD poses a risk for humans; however, public health officials recommend that human exposure to the CWD infectious agent be avoided as they continue to evaluate any potential health risk.
The World Health Organization has reviewed available scientific information and concluded that currently there is no evidence that CWD can be transmitted to humans. During the period 1997-1998, three cases of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) occurred in the U.S. in young adults. These individuals had consumed venison. This led to speculation about possible transmission of CWD from deer or elk to humans. However, review of the clinical records and pathological studies of all three cases by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, did not find a causal link to CWD.
Nonetheless, health and wildlife officials advise caution. Hunters are encouraged not to consume meat from animals known to be infected. In addition, hunters should take common sense precautions when field dressing and processing deer or elk taken in areas where CWD is found.
More information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
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