Survey participants were asked about behaviors that could be associated with exposure to the agents causing BSE and CWD, including travel to the nine countries considered to be BSE-endemic (United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain) and the cumulative length of stay in each of those countries. Respondents were asked if they ever had hunted for deer or elk, and if that hunting had taken place in areas considered to be CWD-endemic (northeastern Colorado, southeastern Wyoming or southwestern Nebraska). They were also asked if they had ever consumed venison, the frequency of consumption, and whether the meat came from the wild.
The proportion of survey respondents who reported travel to at least one of the nine BSE endemic countries since 1980 was 29.5%. Travel to the United Kingdom was reported by 19.4% of respondents, higher than to any other BSE-endemic country. Among those who traveled, the median duration of travel to the United Kingdom (14 days) was longer than that of any other BSE-endemic country. Travelers to the UK were more likely to have spent at least 30 days in the country (24.9%) compared to travelers to any other BSE endemic country. The prevalence and extent of travel to the UK indicate that health concerns in the UK may also become issues for US residents.
The proportion of survey respondents reporting having hunted for deer or elk was 18.5% and 1.2% reported having hunted for deer or elk in CWD-endemic areas. Venison consumption was reported by 67.4% of FoodNet respondents, and 88.6% of those reporting
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Elsevier Health Sciences