Outdoor Updates: Zombie Deer + Deadly Habits and Selfies

Chronic wasting disease not detected in deer in NC or KY

A fatal brain disease that affects many members of the deer family, including elk, moose and deer, has not been detected in the latest tests on deer in North Carolina and Kentucky. In recent tests, North Carolina alone took samples from more than 10,000 deer. Though no deer in the Tar Heel state were found to be sick with the disease, it has been found in deer in 26 states including Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Chronic wasting disease was first identified in Colorado in the 1960’s. It is a neurological disease that is transmittable and always fatal to the animal. The disease has not been shown to pose a health risk to humans or domestic animals.

Global study finds a poor diet is more deadly than smoking or high blood pressure

A global study recently published in Lancet found that a poor diet is responsible for more than one in five deaths around the world, making it the leading cause of death worldwide– more even than tobacco use and high blood pressure. During the study, researchers followed the eating habits of adults aged 25 and older in 195 countries for 27 years. Researchers compared how the diets of each individual contributed to their chances of premature death. They found that poor diets high in sodium and low in whole grains and fruits contributed to more deaths from cardiovascular disease, diet-related cancers, diabetes, and kidney disease than high blood pressure and tobacco. The study also found that poor diet is linked to more years lived with a disability.

People are dying in the outdoors because of a “selfie epidemic”

According to a study published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, at least 259 people died between 2011 and 2017 while attempting to take selfies. The study found that the average age of those who died was 23 and that nearly 73 percent were male. The highest number of selfie deaths were reported in India, followed by Russia, the United States and Pakistan. The report concludes that “no selfie zones” should be declared across tourist areas, including near bodies of water and on mountain peaks.

Recent high profile selfie deaths include an Indian couple that fell 800 feet while posing for a photo in Yosemite National Park and an Israeli teen who plunged to his death in the same park while hanging off a rock and posing for a photo above Nevada Fall. The accident at Nevada Fall prompted Michael Ghiglieri, who wrote a book about fatal accidents in the Yosemite National Park, to call the terrible trend a “selfie epidemic.”

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