- Classes at Chester-East Lincoln School will be cancelled
Thursday following the death late Saturday of learning disabilities teacher
Connie Albert from a human form of mad cow disease.
- A C-EL school board meeting scheduled for this evening
will go on as planned.
- Albert began showing symptoms of the disease about three
months ago when her vision began to be impaired, according to her brother,
Bob Thomas, who is also Logan County coroner.
- Thomas said spinal fluid sent to a lab in Columbus, Ohio,
confirmed the diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease after doctors, first
at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital and then Memorial Medical Center in
Springfield were stymied.
- Thomas said a doctor at Memorial finally began to suspect
mad cow disease and called in an associate from another hospital who had
a patient with the disease.
- The disease is extremely rare in the U.S., literally
a one in a million chance of contracting the disease. Thomas said the only
time his sister has been out of the country was a trip to Canada about
three years ago.
- Also, the disease has a very long incubation period,
up to 40 years.
- Albert was 57 at the time of her death.