A rare disease called “chronic cachexia” is affecting elk, reindeer and deer in the United States and Canada.
The disorder affects the nervous system of animals and shows in them an extreme thinness, erratic movements and the loss of fear towards humans.
The disease was discovered in 1967 and until today its causes have not been determined. Recent research indicates that the syndrome could be transmitted to humans and although at the moment there are no official cases, an investigation by the University of Minnesota showed that by feeding primates with infected deer meat, they got infected.
Another antecedent to consider is the “Creutzfeldt-Jakob” disorder, better known as the mad cow disease, which results in the transmission of the disease between cows and humans through the intake of infected meat. Symptoms are similar to that produced by chronic caquexia.
After infection, the disease could take a year to manifest itself and at the moment there is no vaccine or treatment and the worst: 100% of cases end in death.
The Yucatan Times