'Zombie deer' disease reported in 35 Kansas counties

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This latest measure to protect Nevada's wildlife was signed into legislation by Governor Steve Sisolak in May and it bans hunters from bringing deer, moose or elk carcasses into the state in order to prevent the transmission of this disease. It can take up to two years before the animals begin to show symptoms.

The NDOW check stations have been set up at truck stops near state borderlines in order to keep this infectious disease out of Nevada.

"Someone, for instance ... shoots a deer in Colorado that is infected with chronic wasting disease", Turnipseed explained.

Earlier this year, Nevada legislators passed a law to keep parts of certain carcasses out of the state.

The symptoms of chronic wasting disease reduce infected animals to zombie-like creatures: Stumbling, drooling, drastic weight loss.

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Animals with a disease known as "zombie deer" have been reported in 35 Kansas counties, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We know that we can't wrap Nevada in a bubble", she commented.

University of Minnesota infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm and other prion disease scientists believe chronic wasting disease could end up following a path similar to mad cow disease and jump to humans. "It is possible that the number of human cases will be substantial and will not be isolated events", he told a hearing with lawmakers.

They said one worrisome scenario is hunters dumping parts from an infected animal, which could lead to ravens or other scavengers spreading the disease.

The department confirmed last week chronic wasting disease in a deer for the first time in a hunting area about 12 miles west of Bondurant. Hunters should have all game tested before they consume any animals they kill. Since then, there have been no recurrences of the disease in the state. It's a type of spongiform encephalopathy, meaning it's spread by prions that damage the brain tissue, leading to abnormal behavior, such as a lack of fear of humans and emaciation.

Since 2000, chronic wasting disease has spread to 26 states and Canadian provinces, with the highest concentration of U.S. cases in Colorado and Wyoming and the border between Wisconsin and IL.

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