Palaces For The People
Saturday, December 27, 2003
Mad Animal Update

...While the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the cattle industry claim that neither BSE nor vCJD have been detected in the States, others point to evidence that plenty of TSEs are making their way through a variety of species in this country. Scrapie and Chronic Wasting Disease have been confirmed in sheep, goats, deer and elk (particularly in Colorado, Wyoming, and now Nebraska), mink, and even squirrels.

Doug McEwen, a thirty-year-old hunter who died of classic CJD in Utah in 1999, was a regular consumer of deer meat. However, because of his age and consumption habits, it may be more plausible that he died from vCJD. Blood plasma that McEwen had donated over a two-year period was accepted and distributed. A North Carolina company used the plasma to make various blood products and shipped them to 46 nations.

Mind-boggling? You bet. And this is only one example of how one vCJD positive victim could potentially affect thousands of other people beyond geographical borders. In early February the Sunday Times of London reported the worldwide count of CJD cases now stands at 104, of which 100 are in England. All human cases are directly attributed to BSE, and most of the victims are young. The World Health Organization estimates that between November 1986 and December 2000, the UK had racked up approximately 180,000 confirmed BSE animal cases, and other European nations had roughly 1,300. Close to 4 million cows have already been destroyed because of mad cow risks. In the U.S., scientific studies at Yale University and the University of Pittsburgh demonstrated that 13 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively, of individuals who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and other dementia had exhibited CJD. The presence of CJD was confirmed through autopsies....

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