n-commentMad Cow Disease

Scant Data Cause Widespread Concern

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Science  29 Mar 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5257, pp. 1798
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5257.1798a

Summary

Cambridge, U.K.—The British government announced last week that 10 anomalous cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) may be linked to an outbreak of “mad cow disease,” a degenerative brain disorder that began to strike cattle in the United Kingdom in the mid-1980s. The announcement, based on findings that have yet to be published, has spread alarm and caused many countries to ban British beef. The 10 anomalous cases occurred in relatively young people and the pathology differs from that of traditional CJD cases, suggesting that a new form of the disease may have arisen.