Alabama Cow Has Mad Cow Disease
Cow Never Entered the Animal or Human Food Chains, U.S. Official Says
How Is vCJD Diagnosed?
All age groups can be affected by vCJD, which is very hard to diagnose until
it has nearly run its course.
In its early stages, people have symptoms related to the nervous system,
like depression and loss of coordination. Later in the illness, dementia
develops. But only in advanced stages of the disease can brain abnormalities be
detected by MRI (magnetic resonance imaging); vCJD is fatal, usually within 13
months of the onset of symptoms.
It is extremely unlikely that anyone would get vCJD from eating food
purchased in the U.S. To prevent mad cow disease from entering the country,
since 1989 the federal government has prohibited the importation of certain
types of live animals from countries where mad cow disease is known to
This ban includes meat products used in human, animal, and pet foods. In
addition, prohibiting high-risk animals from entering the food supply and the
removal of central nervous system tissue from the food supply helps assure that
BSE is not a risk to consumers.
In addition, the FDA stops the importation of cosmetic and dietary
supplement ingredients containing bovine materials from animals originating in
the 33 countries where mad cow disease has been found or from animals at risk
of being infected.
According to the CDC, a British citizen who briefly lived in Texas from
2001-2005 and later returned to the U.K. had vCJD. That person's symptoms
started in early 2005 in Texas before being diagnosed and treated in the