LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- State wildlife officials are trying to prevent “zombie deer” from spreading into Nevada.

“Zombie deer” is the nickname given to deer infected with chronic wasting disease, or CWD.

CWD is a contagious neurological disease that causes deterioration of the brain and nervous system in deer, elk, moose and caribou. Experts at the Nevada Department of Wildlife said it can take months for symptoms to show up, but once they do, the deer’s basic survival instincts -- eating, drinking, mating -- can go out the window.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CWD isn’t dangerous to humans, but the symptoms shown in some animals can be dangerous for drivers.

"They looked at hit-by-car deer in states that had CWD and found out that a higher percentage of the deer that had CWD were getting hit by cars," Nevada Department of Wildlife health specialist Peregrine Wolff said.

State wildlife officials said there isn’t much that can be done about animals naturally migrating across state lines, but a law introduced this year limits the parts of an animal hunters are able to transport across state lines. This is intended to prevent the spread of diseased like CWD.

More information on CWD and Nevada hunting laws can be found on the Nevada Department of Wildlife's website.

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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