Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a neurological (brains and nervous system) disease found in deer, elk, moose, caribou, and reindeer (collectively referred to as cervids).
- The disease is a type of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) or prion disease.
- CWD attacks the brains of infected cervids and is always fatal.
- Prions cannot be destroyed by radiation or temperatures under 1000°F (so they cannot be destroyed by cooking).
- Prions can bind to certain common soil types and stay infectious in the environment for decades.