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Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

Two antlerless deer stand in the woods.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a contagious illness that impacts the nervous system of deer and elk. It causes the brain of infected animals to deteriorate in a distinctive spongy manner, leading to weight loss, unusual actions, loss of body functions, and death. The infectious agents responsible for CWD are not classified as either bacteria or viruses, but rather as prions. Prions are proteins that are believed to be capable of causing infections, even though they lack the nucleic acids usually found in infectious agents.

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