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From: TSS ()
Subject: Spain reports first likely human death from mad cow
Date: July 29, 2005 at 11:20 am PST

Spain reports first likely human death from mad cow
29 Jul 2005 17:57:09 GMT

Source: Reuters

MADRID, July 29 (Reuters) - Spain reported the first probable death from the human variant of mad cow disease on Friday, a 26-year-old woman who was likely infected before the mad cow scare of 2000 led to strict controls.

Spain's Health Ministry said it believed the death was caused by Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) based on tests carried out at a Madrid hospital, and that it had sent samples to experts in Edinburgh for confirmation.

The victim most likely had eaten animal products rich in nerve tissue, while the animal itself had consumed contaminated feed. The incubation period in this case was between 5 and 10 years, the ministry added.

"That means that contagion probably occurred before the exhaustive control measures established by the government were put into place," the statement said.

The ministry said controls aimed at stamping out mad cow disease were established in accordance with European Union guidelines, and guaranteed that meat consumed in Spain was safe.

Spain has reported 567 cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), the animal variant of the disease, from 2000.

Europe's outbreaks of BSE caused panic in the 1980s and 1990s with 184,000 cases registered in Britain by 2004.

More than 100 people have died, mostly in Britain, from vCJD after eating tainted meat.

BSE is caused by feeding cattle with infected parts of other cattle. The EU banned animal parts from animal feed and also tightened food safety laws to limit what parts of cattle can enter the food chain.


http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L29677323.htm

TSS



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