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U of M announces new program focused on Chronic Wasting Disease

March 19, 2019 05:16 PM

The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota announced Tuesday it is launching a new program to combat the growing threat of Chronic Wasting Disease on wildlife.

A release said the Chronic Wasting Disease Response, Research and Policy Program is meant to respond to the disease and the possibility of animal-to-human and human-to-human transmission.

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RELATED: Hunters kill 420 deer in chronic wasting disease cull

CWD affects wildlife like deer, elk, reindeer, sika deer and moose. The release said it has been found in 26 states and three Canadian provinces. Although it has not yet been found to cause infections in humans, the release said numerous health agencies advise people not to consume CWD-positive animals.

RELATED: DNR taking action after 11 new cases of CWD found in SE Minnesota

According to the release, the program will focus on:

  • Providing coordinated and proactive national leadership with government agencies and others to help identify priority policy, prevention, research and community outreach issues associated with the disease.
  • Educating the public, especially hunters, the medical and public health communities, wildlife scientists and managers, policymakers and other elected officials, about the potential risk of human CWD transmission.
  • Promoting extensive, reliable and rapid CWD detection tests on deer and other animals before they are processed and consumed.
  • Conducting primary prevention research on how to limit the potential transmission of the CWD prion to humans and between animal species.

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