Monday, May 5, 2008

Mad Cow/Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

This is a bit of a follow-up to the downed cattle post from a few months ago. In the US we tend to deny the existence of Mad Cow Disease, and its related illness. One suspected case of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, the human equivalent of MCD, made it into the news recently. I find it odd that it didn't get more coverage on national news, especially since it occurred so soon after the downed cow incidents made the news. I find it more disconcerting that I can't find any follow-up on this story.
Read more about this possible current case in Virginia.

Tips to avoiding CJD:
  • Know your food!
  • Take action to improve the downer cow situation in the US.
  • Avoid eating meat.
    • Prions pass mainly by ingestion.
    • Our current agricultural industry often feeds parts of animals to other animals.
    • Grow your own, or have someone you know raise it. Make sure that the animal is vegetarian fed.
  • Avoid manure based fertilizer.
    • Prions may be able to spread from manure onto food; remember the recent E coli spinach outbreak. This is still a tenuous link, but a possibility. Once again knowing your source is important.

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