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From: TSS ()
Subject: No medical studies planned for CWD Feast in New York, 'a missed opportunity'
Date: April 17, 2005 at 4:55 pm PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: No medical studies planned for CWD Feast in New York, 'a missed opportunity'
Date: Sun, 17 Apr 2005 19:01:51 -0500
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy


AP New York
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Health officials to wait and watch humans exposed to deer disease

By WILLIAM KATES
Associated Press Writer

April 17, 2005, 11:22 AM EDT

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- After 350 people at a sportsman's dinner ate venison
from sick deer, a scientist says now is the time to launch a study to
determine if the fatal chronic wasting disease could spread to humans
who ingest infected meat.

Chronic wasting disease _ CWD _ was detected earlier this month in two
private captive deer herds in central New York's Oneida County, the
first time it was found outside the Midwest or Rocky Mountains.

Scientists say they're still learning about CWD and can't say for sure
if it could be transmitted to humans, but state and local health
officials say they have no plans to study the people who ate the meat
last month.

That's a missed opportunity, said an animal disease expert with the
International Society for Infectious Diseases.

"Currently, the disease and the speculation surrounding the disease far
out reaches any real science about the disease," said Tam Garland, a
professor of veterinary medicine at Texas A&M University.

"New York has the opportunity to do an epidemiological study ... Seldom
are we presented with such an opportunity to study humans," Garland said.

One of the infected deer from Oneida County was served at an annual
banquet on March 13 at the Verona Fire Department.

The Oneida County Health Department made a list of those who attended
the dinner and sent them letters to give them accurate information about
CWD and reassure them it does not pose a health risk to humans, said Ken
Fanelli, a department spokesman.

About 70 people called the county health department after getting the
letter, Fanelli said.

"No one was particularly concerned or fearful," he said. "Most just
wanted more information."

The venison was served in steak, chili, stew, sausage and meat patties,
health officials said. No organs or bone product from the deer was
served, the parts scientists test when looking for signs of CWD.

State health department spokesman Robert Kenny said although no medical
studies are planned, the list prepared by the county health department
will allow officials to quickly locate and contact the people if the
need arises.

In 2004, scientists at the federal Centers for Disease Control in
Atlanta issued a study on chronic wasting disease that stressed the
absence of any evidence linking CWD to humans. Authors, though,
acknowledged the study was limited in geography and sample size and so
it couldn't draw a conclusion about the risk to humans. They recommended
more study.

Dr. Ermias Belay was the report's principal author but he said New York
and Oneida County officials are following the proper course by not
launching a study.

"There's really nothing to monitor presently. No one's sick," Belay
said, noting the disease's incubation period in deer and elk is measured
in years. "This was one carcass, one meal. It was an animal without
symptoms. If it becomes an issue, if other studies suggest there is a
risk, we have a list to go back to."

Belay noted that the CDC also is involved in long-term human medical
studies in Colorado and Wyoming, where the disease has been endemic for
more than two decades. He said they don't know definitively if people
there have eaten meat from infected deer.

"If people are going to get CWD, these people would be among the first
because of their earlier and longer exposure," Belay said.

In New York, authorities have so far confirmed five infected captive
deer. The state Department of Environmental Conservation is testing the
wild deer population in Oneida and Hamilton counties to determine if the
disease has spread beyond the two domestic herds. They are killing about
450 wild deer in central and northern New York to test for the disease.

One of the key questions to answer is how the disease leapfrogged from
Illinois _ which had been the easternmost state to detect CWD _ to New
York. DEC spokesman Michael Fraser said it did not appear to be the
result of natural animal migration.

"The leading theory is that it was somehow imported. But how? That's
what we need to find out," Fraser said.

Although it appears the disease is passed either through direct
animal-to-animal contact or indirect exposure, including feed and
contaminated water sources, scientists admit they don't fully understand
how it's transmitted.

___

On the Net:

Centers for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol10no6/03-1082.htm

International Society for Infectious Diseases: www.isid.org
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--deerdisease0417apr17,0,4492352.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork


Greetings,

> That's a missed opportunity, said an animal disease expert with the
> International Society for Infectious Diseases.
>
> "Currently, the disease and the speculation surrounding the disease
> far out reaches any real science about the disease," said Tam Garland,
> a professor of veterinary medicine at Texas A&M University.
>
> "New York has the opportunity to do an epidemiological study ...
> Seldom are we presented with such an opportunity to study humans,"
> Garland said.


excellent point!

sadly Tam, they don't want to know. i cannot think of any other reason
for not doing a study.
but it's like CJD and making it reportable Nationally, in every state,
and most importantly,
of ALL AGES with a CJD questionnaire asking questions pertaining to
route and source
of agent. they just dont want to know...

kindest regards,
terry





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