France Has Two More
Human Mad Cow Cases
PARIS (UPI) -- Two new cases of human mad cow disease were detected in France, raising the total number of cases in that country to 11, health officials said.
The country's Institut de Veille Sanitaire said in a statement the two patients were not known to be blood donors. Human mad cow disease, known formally as variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease, or vCJD, can be transmitted via the blood. Humans can contract the incurable, fatal disease by consuming beef products infected with the mad cow pathogen.
The agency did not offer further details about the status or identity of the two new vCJD cases. Of the 11 cases reported in France, eight of the patients have died and three are still alive.
More than 160 instances of vCJD have been identified around the world, with the bulk -- 154 cases -- occurring in the United Kingdom, where there a massive outbreak of mad cow disease began in the 1980s.
A recent report in the journal Veterinary Research estimated more than 300,000 cows infected with mad cow disease went undetected in France between 1980 to 2000.
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