CDC warns of “Zombie deer disease.” La Salle and Livingston two areas highlighted in CDC’s map

Local News

The Center for Disease Control has issued a warning that is striking fear in many Americans.

Chronic Wasting Disease, also known as “Zombie deer disease.”  CWD is said to infect the brain of the deer, and is transmittable through body fluids and tissue.  Currently there are no cases in people, but some experts are worried that eventually it could pose a threat to humans.  

The CDC posted a map of all counties the disease is in, and Central Illinois’ La Salle and Livingston counties are both affected.  A Peoria meat company has some tips for hunters, on how to keep their deer uncontaminated.

“We have not seen any reported cases of death or even sickness from the CWD, but the best thing doing is to avoid the brains, and avoid cutting through the spine.  That’s why most processors nowadays will not cut on their band saws ,they won’t cut through the bones of the deer as most of them are boned out by knife to all boneless meat,” said Brian Alway, co-owner of Alwan and Sons Meat Company.

Alwan says if they do find contaminated meat, they stop processing immediately.  Then they sanitize all equipment, alert the owner of the deer that what they brought in is contaminated, and ask if they would like to come pick the deer up.  The Meat Company made it very clear that they only work on one deer at a time, so that if one is contaminated, it gives them plenty of time and space to clean every single piece of equipment they use, and that the contamination does not spread.

Alwan says the “Zombie deer disease” has been introduced to the United States since 2002, and that if both hunters and meat companies cut and process their meat properly.

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