Two cases of a rare, fatal brain disorder called Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) have been reported by officials in Marin, Calif., on Thursday. CJD is a degenerative condition and one of its types is the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), commonly referred to as the mad cow disease.
However, lab results from one of the infected patients have confirmed that the reported condition is not related to the mad cow disease. Experts have also mentioned that it is highly unlikely that the second case was related to the mad cow disease.
A statement released by the state public health department mentions that We have no evidence that suggests a causal linkage between the suspect cases nor is there any evidence to suggest a risk in food supply.
The rare condition of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease affects around 300 individuals every year in the U.S. Among the reported cases, there are around 30 affected patients from California alone. CFJ is a variant form of the BSE. The condition is called mad cow as it affects a cow's nervous system, causing a cow to act strangely and lose control of its ability to do normal things, such as walk. An infected cow would act mad, which sometimes means mentally ill.
BSE is a concern as it can be transmitted to humans if they eat meat from cows infected with BSE. If a person eats BSE-infected beef, the person is at a higher risk for getting a human form of the disease, called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or CJD.
Although one of the reported cases have been determined as not related to the mad cow condition, the second case is yet to be analyzed in laboratories. If the second case is determined to have come from eating contaminated beef, it would reportedly be the first ever reported case of someone in the United States contracting the disease from eating American beef.