A serious infectious disease, Chronic Wasting Disease, is fatal to all deer that contract it and has now been identified across 24 states in the United States.
Infected deer can easily die from other causes before showing CWD symptoms such as listlessness, drooling and low weight. Moose, elk and deer with the disease can remain healthy up to two years. The symptoms usually show for only a few months before death. These “zombie” deer with CWD won’t eat people’s brains because they have holes in their brains which causing them to be less coordinated and have trouble walking. In the final stages of CWD, the deer could appear weak and underweight.
There’s no need to avoid hunting or fear “zombie” deer. If anything, people who spot a deer potentially having CWD should call local wildlife officials so the deer can be tested. There haven’t been any reported cases of CWD in humans, but studies have shown that it can be transmitted to other animals.