Second American Mad Cow Case – Texas Herd Source?

Cow infected by Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) that destroys brain tissue (on right) with a myriad of holes that resemble a sponge. Photographs courtesy www.mad-cow.org.  
Cow infected by Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) that destroys brain tissue (on right) with a myriad of holes that resemble a sponge. Photographs courtesy www.mad-cow.org.

 June 27, 2005  Washington, D. C. – The U. S. Department of Agriculture confirmed on June 25, 2005, that the second U. S. cow in 18 months has tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, also known as Mad Cow disease. The first case of Mad Cow found in the U.S. was in December 2003 in a Washington state dairy cow that had been imported from Canada.This 2005 infected cow was at least 8 years-old and rumors in the cattle industry are that the animal was born and raised in Texas. If so, this would be the first confirmation that the always fatal BSE prion disease that destroys brains and nervous systems is in some American cattle and not solely linked to imported animals, as once previously thought.

In the mid-1990s, Great Britain had an outbreak of the deadly prion disease in cattle which spread to humans through a destructive protein called “variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.” The word “variant” means the disease which is linked to eating contaminated cow meat is very similar to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease which has long been known to cause brain and nervous system deterioration and death in people. The global human death toll now from “variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob” is more than 150.

 

On the left is the normal prion protein, PrP-C. On the right is the abnormal, misshapen PrP-SC. These diagrams are from Huang, Z., Prusiner, Stanley B. and Cohen, Fred E. from "Structures of Prion Proteins and Conformational Models for Prion Diseases in Prions," (ed. S.B. Prusiner) Berlin: Springer-Verlag, © 1996.
On the left is the normal prion protein, PrP-C. On the right is the abnormal, misshapen PrP-SC. These diagrams are from Huang, Z., Prusiner, Stanley B. and Cohen, Fred E. from “Structures of Prion Proteins and Conformational Models for Prion Diseases in Prions,” (ed. S.B. Prusiner) Berlin: Springer-Verlag, © 1996.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns told a press conference, “This (2005) animal was blocked from entering the food supply because of the firewalls we have in place. Americans have every reason to continue to be confident in the safety of our American beef.”

Chronic Wasting Disease (Prion) Confirmed
in Two New Mexico Deer 

Mule deer. Photograph © by Peter Eades.
Mule deer. Photograph © by Peter Eades.

Another deadly prion disease attacks deer and elk. The New Mexico State Dept. of Game and Fish reported today that two mule deer captured in the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces have tested positive for CWD. That means eleven animals in that same southern New Mexico area have been infected with the prion disease since 2002.

Deer and elk with CWD loose weight, shake, can’t walk without falling down, lose bodily functions and die. So far the devastating prion disease has been found in wild and captive deer and elk in eight states and two Canadian provinces.

New Mexico Game and Fish is encouraging hunters to bring in freshly killed elk or deer to a government office where the brain stem can be removed for testing. 


More Information:

Other Earthfiles reports about Mad Cow and Chronic Wasting diseases in Archives:

  • 04/07/2005 — Chronic Wasting Disease Has Spread to New York State Captive Deer
  • 03/09/2004 — 300 Wyoming Elk Dead After Baffling Paralysis 
  • 02/20/2004 — New Form of Mad Cow Disease Resembles Human Creuzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)
  • 01/27/2004 — FDA Outlaws Cattle Blood in Livestock Feed 
  • 09/28/2002 — 2002 Mad Cow Disease and West Nile Fever Updates 
  • 04/06/2002 — Chronic Wasting Disease Spreads to Wisconsin White-Tailed Deer
  • 04/24/2001 — Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Colorado and Saskatchewan, Canada
  • 03/26/2001 — Mad Cow and Foot and Mouth Disease Spreading 
  • 03/21/2001 — USDA Finally Removes 233 European Sheep from Vermont Farm After Court Battles
  • 02/25/2001 — Environmental Updates
  • 02/11/2001 — Update On Mad Cow Disease
  • 02/04/2001 — Mad Cow-like Chronic Wasting Disease in North American Deer and Elk
  • 01/21/2001 — Prions – The Misshapen Protein That Causes Mad Cow and CJ Disease
  • 12/03/2000 — Bacteria from Outer Space?
  • 11/26/2000 — Environmental Updates

Websites:

U. S. Department of Agriculture: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usdahome

http://www.thedoctorsdoctor.com/diseases/prions.htm

http://www.mad-cow.org/


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