Mad Cow Disease Outbreaks

This documentary, in the form of a Google Map, tracks the history of the Mad Cow disease outbreaks in regard to both cows and humans. Each location is linked to an online news article that explains each situation. Other in formation is linked to such reliable sources as the Centers for Disease Control CDC) and the World Organization for Animal Health.

The cow version of the disease
is called Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), which according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is...

The inability of the cow to stand.
Wikipedia Commons / Public Domai

"BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) is a progressive neurological disorder of cattle that results from infection by an unusual transmissible agent called a prion. The nature of the transmissible agent is not well understood. Currently, the most accepted theory is that the agent is a modified form of a normal protein known as prion protein. For reasons that are not yet understood, the normal prion protein changes into a pathogenic (harmful) form that then damages the central nervous system of cattle."

According to Wikipedia, in Britain where the largest outbreak has been, more than 180,000 cattle were infected and 4.4 million were slaughtered to stop its spread.

The human version of the disease is called Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (vCJD). According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)...

"Variant CJD (vCJD) is a rare, degenerative, fatal brain disorder in humans. Although experience with this new disease is limited, evidence to date indicates that there has never been a case of vCJD transmitted through direct contact of one person with another. However, a case of probable transmission of vCJD through transfusion of blood components from an asymptomatic donor who subsequently developed the disease has been reported.

Since variant CJD was first reported in 1996, a total of 227 patients with this disease from 12 countries have been identified. As of June 28, 2012, variant CJD cases have been reported from the following countries: 176 from the United Kingdom, 27 from France, 5 from Spain, 4 from Ireland, 3 from the United States, 3 in the Netherlands, 2 in Portugal, 2 in Italy, 2 in Canada and one each from Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan. Two of the three U.S. cases, two of the four cases from Ireland, one of the two cases from Canada, and the single case from Japan were likely exposed to the BSE agent while residing in the United Kingdom."

1994 = Mad Cow disease identified in just over half of all cattle herds in Britain

How Now Mad Cow?
by Professor Richard Lacey

"By late 1994, the disease had been identified in nearly 150,000 animals and in just over half of all cattle herds in Britain. Some scientists including myself believe that the only way to tackle the problem would be to destroy all herds with cattle incubating the disease.

BSE has affected all breeds including, significantly, Jersey and Guernsey cattle on their respective islands. The black and white Friesian Holstein cows are the most commonly affected simply because there are far more of them in Britain than other breeds. The youngest case so far recorded of a cow showing the symptoms of BSE was 20 months and the oldest 18 years."

No comments: