Can humans suffer from “zombie deer” disease?

Recently, the “Zombie Deer” disease has made many people uneasy, and some people call it the movie “Busan”.…

Recently, the “Zombie Deer” disease has made many people uneasy, and some people call it the movie “Busan”. According to Xinhua News Agency, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a bulletin saying that an infectious disease called “Zombie Deer” spreads in deer populations in the United States and Canada. There are concerns that the disease can be transmitted to humans. So, what kind of disease is the “Zombie Deer” disease? Can this disease be transmitted to humans?

Can humans suffer from "zombie deer" disease?
Can humans suffer from “zombie deer” disease?

First, let’s take a look at the “zombie deer” disease. “Zombie deer” disease is a chronic wasting disease caused by prions. The United States first reported the disease in 1967. The prion spread through contact with body fluids and body tissues, invading the deer’s brain, spinal cord and other tissues. Symptoms such as rapid weight loss, poor coordination, drooling, and unstable walking eventually lead to death.

Among them, prions were originally a class of infectious proteins found in animals. When this protein is misfolded, it can spread between animals, causing the animal to suffer from nervous system diseases. These proteins are resistant to high temperatures and other chemical inactivation, so they are an extremely dangerous infectious agent in the clinic.

So, will the “Zombie Deer” disease be transmitted to humans? Dong Xiaoping, director of the Center for Global Public Health of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the deputy director of the State Key Laboratory of Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, pointed out that “from an epidemiological point of view, there is currently no human case related to the disease, and there is no Any information indicates that the disease will infect humans, or there is no evidence that the disease has the ability to infect humans.” Dong Xiaoping explained that many viruses have a defined host range, and this “species barrier” may depend on whether the host cells have corresponding Receptors, such as poliovirus receptors, are found only in humans and primates, while other animals have natural species resistance to the virus.

However, this does not mean that human beings can sit back and relax. Animal experiments show that the prion that causes the “zombie deer” disease may be transmitted to squirrel monkeys, macaques and other animals, so there may be some risk of transmission to humans in the future. It is recommended that everyone avoid contact with infected animals.

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