Friday, April 23, 2021

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory has the state’s first Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing facility. The CWD testing unit is operational and fully accredited by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the organization that develops and publishes international standards.

“A dozen counties in West Tennessee are CWD positive or high risk,” Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “Kord Lab’s CWD unit produces valuable information to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, captive herd owners, and to hunters. This unit also supports the One Health initiative for greater understanding of health connections among people, animals, and plants.” ...


Why is this potentially so important for human health consideration?

Answer: Remember when some cases of “Mad Cow Disease” i.e. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) was found to be infecting some humans that ate beef that contained this human brain destroying pathogen called a “prion”?  Well, guess what!  Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is also caused by one of these prions and COULD potentially (not yet found but COULD happen) evolve/develop into causing a similar disease problem in humans who eat infected wildlife, like venison.  So researchers, mostly those with specialized expertise in veterinary medicine like doctors of veterinary medicine (DVMs or VMDs) and epidemiology and/or microbiologists with similar training are best suited to study and recognize early signals that CWD has become a ZOONOSIS that can be transmitted to people from ingesting contaminated animal meat, producing an infection capable of killing humans!! Repeat, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not believe this to be the case yet and it may never happen but ... “an ounce of prevention” to be “better safe than sorry” etc. etc.

You might consider this a preventative “One Health in Action”.