News FocusInfectious Diseases

America's Own Prion Disease?

Science  01 Jun 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5522, pp. 1641
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5522.1641

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Summary

Chronic wasting disease, a fatal condition afflicting deer and elk in certain parts of Colorado and Wyoming, is a so-called transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, like scrapie in sheep and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. In 1996, Britain concluded that a similar disease affecting cattle, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, could cause a new and fatal form of CJD in humans, vCJD. If eating beef can give you vCJD, then what about venison? So far, there's no good answer.

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