Possibility of Wildlife-to-Human Crossover Heightens Concern About Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is spreading among deer populations and has the potential to infect humans. Research shows that the barriers to spillover into humans are less formidable than previously believed. Experts are working on a major initiative to address the threat of CWD, focusing on public health surveillance, lab capacity, diagnostics, risk communication, and education and outreach. Efforts are being made to develop rapid testing for deer and other cervid carcasses in order to prevent spillover into humans. Tribes in Minnesota are also working with experts to monitor and manage the disease. Despite the concerns, researchers believe there are new technologies and approaches that can help fight the disease.

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