First confirmed case of 'mad cow' disease in U.S. in six years: Human threat unlikely

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The USDA confirms that a case of “mad cow” disease, the first in six years, was found earlier this week.

“Mad cow” disease, or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), is a fatal neurological disease found in cattle which can be deadly to humans who consume the contaminated beef. There is a link between people who eat meat tainted with BSE and the development of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a rare and deadly nerve disease.

The infected cow, from a dairy farm in California, was found to be tainted with a rare form of BSE following regular USDA testing. As the USDA begins notifying world animal health authorities about “mad cow” disease, John Clifford chief veterinary officer, reports that the nation’s beef exports will not be affected, and goes on to say that “there is really no cause for alarm here with regard to this animal.”

Results from the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa confirmed that the cow tested positive for atypical BSE, atypical meaning a spontaneous case, not usually associated with infected feed.

Clifford announced that the cow was never offered for human consumption and reassures the public that milk does not transmit BSE.

Ashley Shamus | Email
Northeast Pennsylvania Ashley has a psychology degree, and is soaking up tons of knowledge while furthering her education. She has a passion for holistic nutrition, animal rights, and green vegetables. In her free time, she loves to cook, juice, and bask in the sun. She whole heartedly applauds and appreciates all of the wonderful people who strive to make a positive difference in animals’ lives!

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/joost-ijmuiden

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