Between 2004 and 2006, only two more cows
in the United States were found to have mad cow disease. When tested, these
cases were found to be different from the first case found in the United
States. There is some disagreement about whether these two cases were mad cow
What are the symptoms of vCJD?
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) causes the brain to become damaged over time.
It is fatal. Symptoms include:
- Tingling, burning, or prickling in your face,
hands, feet, and legs. But there are much more common illnesses that cause
these same symptoms. Having tingling in parts of your body does not mean you
- Psychotic behavior.
- Problems moving parts
of the body. As the disease gets worse, a person is no longer able to
If a person does eat nerve tissue from an infected
cow, he or she may not feel sick right away. The time it takes for symptoms to
occur after you're exposed to the disease is not known for sure, but experts
think it is years.
How is vCJD diagnosed?
There is no single test to
diagnose vCJD. Doctors may think that a person has vCJD based on where the
person has lived and the person’s symptoms and past health. Imaging tests, such
MRI, may be done to check for brain changes caused by
Researchers are now trying to develop a blood test that
looks for vCJD. But no blood test is available at this time.
brain biopsy is the only way to confirm a diagnosis of vCJD.
How is vCJD treated?
There is no cure for vCJD.
Treatment includes managing the symptoms that occur as the disease gets worse.