The Horrifying Details of Mad Cow Disease

Powerful Essays
The Horrifying Details of Mad Cow Disease

Mad Cow Disease, scientifically referred to as (BSE) Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, is a disease that affects those humans who eat the meat from infected cows. Mad Cow Disease is one of several fatal brain diseases called (TSE) Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy. (USDA) There was evidence of a new illness resembling the sheep disease scrapie. It was technically named BSE but quickly acquired the mad cow tag because of the way infected cattle behave. (CNN) In 1997, there was an award given to Stanley Prusiner, for concluding that a distorted protein called a prion was responsible for Mad Cow Disease, noted the long incubation period made it difficult to distinguish (Bryant). Another name for Mad Cow Disease is the new variant Cruetzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), similar to the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, which is a deadly brain illness that strikes about one per million per year (USDA) due to genetic or unknown causes while the vCJD is contracted from eating infected cows (USDA). Both CJD and vCJD are so similarly named because of the similar effects from the illness.

This case study shows the effect of CJD. The story has been said to be on the natural occurring CJD but is still in the family with the same kind of effects as vCJD. It is just contracted differently. According to Rocky Mountain News in an article written by Lou Kilzer, Tracie Mcewen noticed something wrong for the first time on Mother’s Day of 1998 (Kilzer). Doug, her husband, always made her homemade cards for Mother’s Day, but he did not this year. Although Tracie thought Doug was mad at her or just being forgetful, he died ten months later from a rare brain ravaging disease (Kilzer). After his death an autopsy showed that it was not Mad Cow Disease. Some scientists wondered if his and four other deaths were somehow connected to a related disease in deer and elk called (CWD) Chronic Wasting Disease, considering that Doug was an avid hunter (Kilzer). Before losing Doug, Tracie wrote the following accounts of the ravages for

a support group, serving families of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease victims (Kilzer). Tracie’s letter was written in January of 1999.

Tracie was twenty-eight years old at the time, and Doug was thirty years old. They have two girls, Sharon who is eight years old and Rilee who is three years old. They li...

... middle of paper ...

...ases that are just as bad like CWD, but people have known about them. Mad Cow, BSE, vCJD--it is here and real and will kill anyone who gives it a chance. It does not pick an individual. It does not pick innocent or guilty. The people choose it. Mad Cow will either stop a person in his train of thought or fly past like a busy bee. This disease is not as well-known as some but is just as deadly. BSE has many terms all under the same definition. Whether a person sees this brain ravaging disease as a threat or a joke, it is up to each individual.

Works Cited

“A Beef With Beef.” USDA. 8 Feb. 1999. Ask Jeeves. 29 Aug. 2002

Bryant, Gerry, Dr., and Monk, Philip, Dr.“The Queniborough Report” 26 Aug. 2002

“Cannibals to Cows the Path of a Deadly Disease” Newsweek. 12 March 2001

“Fear and Mystery Of Cross Species Killer.”

CNN 26 Oct. 2000. Yahoo. 26 Aug. 2002

Kilzer, Lou. “A Family Grieves: Young Utah Hunter’s Untimely Death Attributed To CJD

But Survivors Want Closer Look At Venison Connection.”

Rocky Mountain News 1 June 2002. Google. 29 Aug. 2002

“Mad Cow Update.” Consumer Freedom. 20 March 2000. Ask Jeeves. 29 Aug. 2002
Get Access