Nevada Officials Fear Spread of 'Zombie Deer'

Nevada officials are worried for zombie animals.
iStock / mirceax

Nevada officials are desperately fighting to keep "zombie deer" out of the state, according to The Associated Press.

They're not actual zombies, of course, but rather deer suffering from chronic wasting disease, which is highly contagious and fatal. It's a type of spongiform encephalopathy, meaning it's spread by prions that damage the brain tissue, leading to abnormal behavior, such as a lack of fear of humans and emaciation. 

The disease has been known to wipe out entire populations of deer. 

To combat the spread of the disease, officials are testing dead animals for the illness, and they have banned bringing certain parts of the animal into the state, including the brain and spinal cord, where the most prions reside. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention worry that the sickness, like mad cow disease, could pose a danger to humans as well.

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