Miami Meat Worker Dies of Creutzfeldt-Jakob (Mad Cow)

MIAMI (Reuters) - Medical investigators are looking into the death of a Florida meat warehouse laborer who died of the brain-wasting Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, authorities said Thursday.
Ozzie Hyman of Miami died March 5 of the degenerative disease, a rare affliction that affects just one in one million people, officials said.
Hyman was not a victim of the variant strain of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) linked by British researchers to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), better known as mad cow disease, officials said.
``It was a person who died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. It is a disease that people like to connect or somehow relate with mad cow disease,'' said Dr. Eleni Sfakianaki, medical executive director of the Dade County Health Department. ``This is a human case.''
Sfakianaki said the variant type of CJD has not appeared in the United States.
``This is a typical, regular CJ disease,'' she said. ``It is a very rare disease, the incidence is about one in one million people.
``There is no reason for people to panic, no reason to be alarmed at all.''
In a March 6 statement, the Dade County Medical Examiner's Office said: ``The relationship of this condition to his (Hyman's) occupation, a meat warehouse laborer, is under investigation and remains to be determined.''
The first case of BSE was confirmed in Britain in 1986, a result of contaminated cattle feed, British researchers have said. Since then, 170,000 cattle have died of the disease.

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