Thanks for the conversation just now about the El Dorado Springs Sun article by Larry Dablemont on Chronic Wasting Disease published Sept. 21. Per our conservation, I am emailing you to follow up on our concerns about the article containing FACTUALLY WRONG information, which could be a serious detriment to your readers.

His spelling of “Pryon” is FACTUALLY WRONG. It is spelled “prion.”

His claim that Carol Schroeder husband’s death, “…was due to the same horrible disease that biologists call Chronic Wasting Disease…” is FACTUALLY WRONG.

According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), “To date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infections in people and no direct proof that people can get CWD.” Get the facts at www.cdc.gov/prions/cwd/index.html.

His claim, “You have not heard the Missouri Department of Conservation talk about whether or not the disease can spread from deer to humans, but it is known that it does…” is FACTUALLY WRONG.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation and based on information from the CDC, “There have been no reported cases of CWD infection in people. Animal studies suggest CWD poses a risk to some types of non-human primates, such as monkeys. These recent studies raise concerns that there may also be a risk to people and suggest it is important to prevent human exposure to CWD. Hunters and others should take precautions when processing any game to help prevent the transmission of any potential disease.”

MDC also states,” In areas where CWD is known to be present (Adair, Cole, Franklin, Jefferson, Linn, Macon and St. Clair counties), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends hunters strongly consider having their harvested deer tested before eating the meat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends not consuming an animal that tests positive for the disease.”

Based on CDC guidelines, MDC also recommends, “Do not eat meat from deer that look sick or are found dead. If a hunter chooses to dispose of the processed meat, do so properly through a trash service to a properly permitted landfill to prevent the spread of the disease. Do not handle or consume any deer that is acting abnormally or appears to be sick. Contact the Missouri Department of Conservation if you see or harvest a deer that appears sick.”

Based on CDC guidelines, MDC recommends, “Wear latex or rubber gloves when field dressing deer. Bone out meat from harvested deer. Don’t saw through bone and avoid cutting through the brain or spinal cord (backbone). Do not use household knives or other kitchen utensils for field dressing. Minimize handling of brain and spinal tissues. Avoid consuming brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils, and lymph nodes of harvested animals. Normal field dressing coupled with boning out a carcass will remove most, if not all, of these body parts. Cutting away all fatty tissue will remove remaining lymph nodes. For specific precautions on processing and consuming meat from deer with CWD, visit the Department of Health and Senior Services at www.health.mo.gov/cwd.” Get the facts at www.mdc.mo.gov/cwd.

His claim that the CDC requires people who die from CWD to be immediately cremated and bodies be removed from hospitals by police escort is FACTUALY WRONG.

Based on direct information from the CDC and World Health Organization, “An autopsied or traumatized body of a suspected or confirmed CJD patient can be embalmed, using the precautions outlined in the WHO CJD infection control guidelines. CJD patients who have not been autopsied or whose bodies have not been traumatized can be embalmed using Standard Precautions.” The WHO infection control guidelines state, “On the death of a patient with confirmed or suspected TSE, the removal of the body from the ward, community setting, or hospice, should be carried out using normal infection control measures.” Get the facts at www.cdc.gov/prions/cjd/infection-control.html.

His claim that “Maybe if I hadn’t talked to so many people in this state who have lost loved ones to that disease [CWD]…” is FACTUALLY WRONG.

According to the CDC:

·         “To date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in people.”

·         “Classic CJD is not related to “mad cow” disease.”

·         “Variant CJD (vCJD) is not the same disease as classic CJD. Four cases of vCJD have been reported from the United States.”

·         “Latrogenic transmission of the CJD agent has been reported in over 250 patients worldwide. These cases have been linked to the use of contaminated human growth hormone, dura mater and corneal grafts, or neurosurgical equipment.” 

Get the facts at www.cdc.gov/prions/index.html.

Thank you for the opportunity to correct the factually inaccurate information by Larry Dablemont.

Joe Jerek

News Services Coordinator

Missouri Department of Conservation

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