An illness in animals known as “zombie deer” disease has been reported in 17 Illinois counties, according to the CDC.
The illness, called chronic wasting disease (CWD), was found in free-ranging deer, elk and/or moose, the Centers for Disesase Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a recently released report.
The “zombie deer” was reported in Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, Livingston, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Will and Winnebago Counties.
Animals carrying the disease take on a zombie-like stare and become gaunt, and their rib cages become exposed.
The CDC says hunters should test all game before they consume it.
To date, the CDC says there’s no strong evidence of the disease spreading to people, but if it did, it would most likely happen through the eating of infected meat.
Experts say CWD can remain in the environment for a long time, so other animals can contract the disease.
The deadly disease has been found in 23 other states, the CDC says.