Myth: CWD is deadly to humans

“To date, no strong evidence of CWD transmission to humans has been reported.”
-- Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2012

“Though many observers try to compare CWD with "mad cow disease", the diseases are distinctly different. Currently, there is no evidence that CWD poses a risk for humans; however, public health officials recommend that human exposure to the CWD infectious agent be avoided as they continue to evaluate any potential health risk.”
-- Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance, 2012

The World Health Organization has reviewed available scientific information and concluded that currently there is no evidence that CWD can be transmitted to humans. During the period 1997-1998, three cases of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) occurred in the U.S. in young adults. These individuals had consumed venison. This led to speculation about possible transmission of CWD from deer or elk to humans. However, review of the clinical records and pathological studies of all three cases by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, did not find a causal link to CWD.
-- Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2012

“Data from an ongoing multi-year study suggest that people who consume deer and elk with chronic wasting disease (CWD) may be protected from infection by an inability of the CWD infectious agent to spread to people.”
-- Science Daily, 2009

Note: While no evidence suggests transmission to humans, many health and wildlife officials still encourage hunters not to consume meat from animals known to be infected. In addition, hunters should take common sense precautions when field dressing and processing deer or elk taken in areas where CWD is found.