The US authorities are concerned from an infectious brain disease in elk and other wildlife.

The so-called Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), often “Zombie disease” that has infected, according to the health authority CDC, now in 24 U.S. States and two canadian provinces deer and elk. The senior researcher Michael Osterholm warned that Transmission to humans could not be excluded. While Norway is going on with the various measures to be taken against CWD, not advised German experts currently.

CWD is a contagious prion disease, similar to mad cow disease (BSE) and Scrapie in sheep. It attacks the Central nervous system and ensures that infected animals are always of and flabby – that is why the epithet of the Zombie disease. Cases in which CWD was transmitted to people or Pets, are not yet known.

In April 2016, it was found CWD for the first time outside of North America and South Korea in the case of reindeer in Norway. Later, more positive results followed. In Finland to 2018 since January, as the disease was found to be a dead elk and, for the first time within the EU, no new cases will be added.

Now researchers Osterholm brought up the discussion about a Transfer to the people. This was considered unlikely. Also, the US Agency the CDC writes: “so Far, there have been no cases of CWD infection in humans.” However, studies indicate that there is a risk for some of the non-human Primate species.

Osterholms warning was still dramatically. “It is likely that cases of CWD documented in humans in the coming years, with the consumption of contaminated meat,” he said this month in the Parliament of the U.S. state of Minnesota. It is possible that human cases became more frequent, and not isolated events were added the Director of the center for infectious diseases at the University of Minnesota.

“Should we eat infected Wild? What’s the risk? We have no evidence of human cases. But the Problem for the delayed appearance is,” said the scientist, referring to his years of research on BSE, If someone got infected, they could find until later. “We can’t wait for the first cases.”

do the panic or legitimate concern? The Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute, reports that according to studies, a substantial species barrier for Transmission of CWD to humans seem to exist. There is also no evidence that CWD Transmissions to humans. “According to current scientific knowledge, a Transmission of CWD to humans cannot be excluded with all certainty, but the risk can be extremely low,” says the Institute.

The German hunting Federation, it does not believe that CWD might move to Germany. “It is unlikely to be introduced via the natural way, about animals. It is also unlikely that Scandinavia or North America vacationers or hunters bring those prions via contaminated clothes,” says spokesman Torsten Reinwald. And the prion disease in humans is not permanent, the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, CWD is transferable.

In Norway, it is observed the disease very precisely. A year ago, were shot in the Region Nordfjella more than 1400 wild reindeer, after the case of 17 of the animals, CWD had been found. To date, more than 70 000 animals were investigated.

“Norway has made great efforts to CWD to eradicate, but we do not know whether we have done it already”, declared the Ministry of agriculture today. And Karen Lone of the Norwegian environment Agency says: “We are fighting against this disease.” For many years, had to be specific against the disease and to research their addressed. The disease has been found to be Profitable, until today, at 19, four elk and a red deer. The type of CWD in elk and the deer, that was not the same as the classic case of the Reindeer. “This is an important distinction. There is no connection between the Reindeer and the other animals.”

And the man? “A panel of experts has assessed the risk to humans. The risk is very low but cannot be excluded,” says Lone. Norway knows that the Zombie disease is in the environment. “But we don’t know how much. It will take years until we know for sure if we got rid of the disease.”

dpa