NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – As CWD spreads in Tennessee, there is anxiety that the disease can go from deer to humans.
"Back in my brain, is this anxiety? Answer," said Dr William Schaffner of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
"During the last decade, it is spread among the deer in the United States."
Now CWD is in more than 2 dozen states, according to TWRA.
"This is a disease that affects the deer's brain and makes them dysfunctional and ultimately leads to their death," Dr. Shaffner explained.
CWD is very similar to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or CJD found in humans, both prion diseases.
"There is concern because the two diseases are similar. Is it possible that this, it's called prion, is like a virus, can it jump species? Can it be moved from a deer to a person? In theory, perhaps it has not yet been found theoretically possible and so it was under the supervision and careful study for 10 years or more, – he said.
If the CWD were to go over to humans, experts say it will be through the consumption of contaminated deer.
"Incubation from time to time of exposure, presumably when using contaminated deer from the deer, for example It may take years before the development of the disease. "
If a person is diagnosed with HHD, the number of cases of a disease can be significant.
" If there was a transfer from deer to man, the first case would be the first case, but then there would be another and then one more, so that the health issue would become more clearly defined over time, "explained Dr. Shaffner.
CWD was first detected in Tennessee a few months ago. TWRA says it has now confirmed the disease in three districts; Fayette, Hardeman and Madison.
To try to sustain the disease, the agency created a management zone covering eight districts.
On a nationwide scale, the TWRA managed to test specimens from nearly 54 hundred deer during the deer season of 2018-19. They plan to have all these results by the end of the month. After this, TWRA plans to complete the final development of a long-term CWD management plan.
TWRA has information on where you can test your deer on your website.