The Deadly Nature of Chronic Wasting Disease Essay

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The Deadly Nature of Chronic Wasting Disease

The newly born fawn, still wet with milk on its lips, suddenly tumbles over from the huge impact of the .300 weatherby rifle. Next, goes a small two point, followed by a fat doe packing twins. As the rest of the herd trots off, the big four point buck gets his last taste of life. This, all a result of the rifleman atop the hill who has begun the culling of deer to control Chronic Wasting Disease.

The recent outbreaks of Chronic Wasting Disease on Colorado's commercial elk herds, is considered to be the worst ever. Biologists are trying to find out what this means to the wild herds of deer and elk on the Western Slope. Unfortunately, so far, the only method of treatment that has been
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The prions grow in numbers, even though they are not living organisms. It takes more than a year for any signs of the disease to occur, therefore, it is considered to be a very slow forming disease.

The deadly disease shows many clinical signs during the later stages. These signs include: weight loss, loss of fear in humans, abnormal behavior, staggering, excessive drooling, frequent urination, consumption of large amounts of water, droopy ears, and a rough coat. As of now, there is no known cure or treatment for this very fatal disease. Only four animals, the mule deer, elk, white-tailed deer, and black-tailed deer, are susceptible to CWD. Other animals such as bighorn sheep, wolves, foxes, birds, livestock and antelope haven't been affected by CWD. Usually a certain prion stays within a certain species.

Chronic Wasting Disease can be transmitted by direct, animal to animal, contact or habitat that is already highly contaminated. The prions, which survive in the environment for long periods of time, are also passed to other animals be feces, urine, and saliva.

Many questions have been brought up about Chronic Wasting Disease, while at the same time; few answers have been put to these questions. This disease was found by Beth Williams, a veterinary graduate student at Colorado State University. Williams decided to look at the tissue samples from the dead animal's brains. The tissue was found to

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