A semi-new animal disease epidemic has started to worry biologists that it might one day be contracted by humans. First discovered in deer in 1967, chronic wasting disease, is a fatal illness that has been spreading all over the northeastern and southeastern part of Iowa. Matt Crayne, of the Chickasaw County Conservation Board, says it is similar to mad-cow disease and experiments are currently being done on primates to test to see if they can pick it up.
Biologists are currently testing monkeys with genetics that are closer to human beings in order to test its reach. Crayne says its hard to spot deer that have the disease.
This is why the Chickasaw County Conservation Board is holding a program at the New Hampton Library about this disease on December 3rd from 6:30 to 7:30. The guest speaker will be Jason Auel, a wildlife biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.