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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Chronic Wasting Disease: Virginia Media Starting to Pay Attention

The Daily News Record in the Shenandoah Valley reported on Chronic Wasting Disease today.

We have reported about this disease before, and we consider it a grave concern for Virginians and Virginia hunters. It is called Chronic Wasting Disease, and it affects deer. It is very similar to mad cow disease, and there is dispute that the disease can be transferred to humans.

The problem of determining if it is transferable to humans is the incubation period, before symptoms show up, it may take nine months or longer. In lab tests performed by the CDC the "species barrier" has been broken, and the disease was transferred to primates.

What is not coming out through the media, or the Virginia Game Inland Fisheries, and for that matter the CDC is that this disease could pose dangers to those who eat venison. There has been a very low key approach to informing you of possible dangers. Although, there are a few documented cases that some who have eaten venison have developed a closely related disease, which is always fatal. With the long incubation period for the disease to develop in humans, it is difficult to attribute the human form of the disease was caused by the consumption of venison.

The Virginia Game Commission is however telling hunters to take precautions in how they dress a deer, and not to consume certain parts which people have consumed in the past. We encourage all hunters to become aware of the risks, and follow the recommended precautions.

One of the best precautions would be not to eat venison until more is known about this disease.

On our previous posts, you will find the links to information about Chronic Wasting Disease in deer, precautions that you should take, and the source from the CDC on how this disease has shown evidence of breaking the species barrier to primates.

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