PDA

View Full Version : This is sad (mad cow disease in FL)


TigH
04-19-2002, 09:49 PM
Here is a copy of an article from the Orlando Sentinel. What a sad story. Have any of you stopped eating beef? I know that it's supposed to be safe to eat it again in the UK. Most of my English relatives don't eat it, but I'm sure my husband and my father will have some when we visit this year.

__________________________________________________ _____________________

A 22-year-old British woman living in Florida apparently is the first U.S. case of the human form of mad-cow disease, health officials said Thursday.

They would not reveal where the woman lives or provide any information about her condition, citing a desire to guard her privacy. The woman unquestionably caught the fatal disease while living in the United Kingdom years ago, they said.

"We have no evidence or reason to believe that she got this in the United States," said Dr. John Agwunobi, Florida's secretary of health.

State health officials were alerted to the case Wednesday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which had been working with British authorities to confirm the illness.

In humans, the condition is called new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a debilitating neurological disease that is thought to be caught by eating beef from cattle infected with mad-cow disease. It is not contagious.

There has never been a case of mad-cow disease in U.S. animals, but cattle in Great Britain suffered an outbreak of the illness from the late 1980s through 1996. There have been 125 cases of its human counterpart to date -- with 117 from the United Kingdom, six from France and one each from Ireland and Italy, according to the CDC.

Officials say the Florida patient was living overseas during the height of the problem. An investigation into her case will continue, but Agwunobi said there is little more that can be done at this point to confirm the illness.

A final confirmation is not possible until after death through an autopsy.

People with the disease often can be infected up to 10 years before showing symptoms, which start with mild changes in their mental states. Agwunobi said early signs may appear as depression or anxiety, then advance to sensory and neurological problems.

Patients lose vision and develop an unsteady gait or the inability to stand.

"They increasingly become bedridden and debilitated, eventually resulting in death," Agwunobi said. "There is no treatment at this time."

Tartan Tigger
04-20-2002, 05:38 AM
I read that story in the paper yesterday. :(

I still eat beef although not very often.

WDWfan,uk
04-20-2002, 05:41 AM
This is tragic.
We stopped eating beef for a time when the situation arose, and certain types of beef products were removed from the supermarket shelves.
However, we have been eating beef again for a long time now - I can say for sure that at least one of our major supermarkets use their own farms and know the provenance of their stock and that it is BSE free and they only use meat under a certain age. I'm sure the others do this too since competition is fierce and consumer confidence is essential.

BevS97
04-20-2002, 06:44 AM
Everything I've read suggests that the disease can lie dormant for years, so I think cases like this will keep on arising.

Someone I worked with at Sky TV died from this disease, although he wasn't ill when I knew him - but I saw his name in the paper a few years later. It's quite scary to think that we often joked about it. I can clearly remember him saying that he would probably get it (jokingly) because of all the really cheap burgers he used to eat as a student.
(when I worked at Sky it was at the height of the scare, and BSE jokes were fairly common).

I still eat beef - I think the beef we eat now is quite safe, and if I ate any dodgy beef in the past then that damage is done. I have to say, I don't eat a lot of beef, but not because I am scared, we just tend to eat more chicken.


Bev

Hamther
04-20-2002, 03:25 PM
I think it would help if the press could at least put things into perspective. 86% of CJD cases are classic and not linked to BSE.
The cause may be genetic, or as a result of surgical procedures or in some cases, caused by a growth hormone or simply with no known cause at all (my friends dad died in the early 80s of this).
Yet the press don't cover these. Why? - because they are not sensational or newsworthy enough.
Classic CJD has been identified for decades, and every country in the world has cases every year, including the US.
I think that often these articles are unbalanced in that they don't explain how much effort has gone into eradicating the possibility of contracting the variant form in the UK, and not explaining that the chances now of anyone contracting this disease in the UK is virtually nil. Those unfortunate people who are developing the symptoms of the disease now contracted it probably many years ago.
This kind of article only spreads unnecessary fear and concern and shouldn't leave US people worried about visiting the UK.

:(