Yellowstone's 'Zombie deer illness' outbreak may spread to people, say scientists.

The October death of the mule deer buck occurred miles from the closest road, in an area most people would consider to be in the middle of nowhere. 

However, its final breaths were not drawn in a remote area of the United States. 

It was the first confirmed instance of chronic wasting syndrome in the nation's most well-known nature reserve.

And it died from a long-feared sickness in the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park in northwest Wyoming.

The aberrant, transmissible pathogenic agents known as prions are the source of chronic wasting disease (CWD), which has been quietly spreading over North America for years. 

Hunters have been the main people to raise concerns about CWD after noticing unusual behavior in deer.

Some have dubbed it "zombie deer disease" because of the telltale "blank stare" that the animals exhibit, as well as drooling, lethargy, emaciation, and stumbling as a result of the neurological and brain alterations caused by the prions. 

The cervid family, which includes deer, elk, moose, caribou, and reindeer, is affected. As there are no recognized cures or vaccinations, it is lethal.

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