To date, there have been no cases of chronic wasting disease, or CWD, in humans. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) affecting deer.TSEs are a family of diseases thought to be caused by misfolded proteins called prions and includes similar diseases such as BSE (mad cow disease) in cattle, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans and scrapie in sheep. "But I want to be on the safe side."
But Schuler herself said she follows CDC recommendations and tests her venison before eating it. "I've never had a sample test positive for CWD," she said. It is not known how susceptible humans are to CWD but given that the prion can be present in muscle, it is likely that humans have been exposed to the agent via consumption of venison (Sigurdson, 2008). "CWD could be like scrapie, a prion disease that kills sheep, but has never made the jump to humans," Schuler said. If CWD is truly a prion disease/BSE, it should be transmissible to humans like all the others.
Barbara Ingham, a food safety expert with the University of Wisconsin-Extension, said that for humans, CWD presents a combination of low risk and potentially high consequences.
There have been no outbreaks in the UK but in 2016 it was diagnosed in wild deer in Norway, the first cases of CWD in Europe. CWD has now been detected in 26 states of the USA, Canada, South Korea, Norway and Finland. The way deer & elk are hunted and handled makes me very nervous about the spread of this one. See also: Jul 23 mBio paper No cases of CWD have been reported in humans, but studies have shown it can be transmitted to animals other than deer, including primates, according to the CDC.
Humans aren’t affected, nor are animal products or meat such as venison. The foodborne transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy to humans indicates that the species barrier may not completely protect humans from animal prion diseases. Human transportation of CWD-infected cervids to new areas and natural spread of CWD from infected populations to surrounding areas have both contributed to the spread of CWD in North America [2–4]. The combination of long-term environmental stability, relative ease of transmission, and the … Increasing spread of CWD has raised concerns about the potential for increasing human exposure to the CWD agent.
For humans… However, some experts have raised concerns that it could pose a threat to people.