Washington – Deer probably spread brain-destroying chronic wasting disease through their saliva.
That's the conclusion of a study done by Colorado State University researchers, who exposed some deer without the disease to infected animals.
Chronic wasting disease is in the same family of fatal brain illnesses as mad cow disease and its human equivalent. There is no evidence that people have ever caught chronic wasting disease from
infected deer or elk.
But C-W-D is unusual because, unlike its very hard-to-spread relatives, it seems to spread fairly easily from animal to animal. It is found in deer and elk in Wyoming and other states.
At C-S-U they took some deer raised indoors in Georgia and squirted saliva from infected animals into the mouths of the healthy deer. All became infected.