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Mad Cow Disease

We will introduce the several facts about this problem so that you can be aware of the dangers this disease represents. In the 1986 this disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, was recognized as a disease or entity. After the year of 1980, this disease affected more then 400 000 cattle that entered human food chains. It takes from four to five years for the incubation period. When the problem is present, the spinal cord and the neurons become degenerated, which leads to the creation of holes and spongy appearance of the brain of the cattle.

There are some structural alterations produced by this disease. The most common cause of this disease is the protein supplement, consumed along with the food that had some of the supplements from the herbivorous animals in the bones and meat. This disease made a huge impact on the beef market and brought a huge loss to this industry. We can also be infected with this disease, if we eat the infected meat.

Symptoms of Mad Cow Disease

Cattle with this problem experience problems with movement and standing, since the disease affects the muscles. The weight loss is another symptom, along with the problems of milk production. Another symptom is the alteration of the attitude and the behavior of the cattle. The problem that humans experience when having mad cow disease are memory loss, insomnia, fatigue, behavioral disorder and anxiety. Sometimes it can even lead to death. In older people the dementia can be exhibited. There is a variation called Jacob disease, and it usually affects younger population. The incubation period for mad cow disease in humans is 40 years.

Facts About Mad Cow Disease

In February 1985, this disease was discovered. It is caused by prion, which is a mutated protein that affect nervous system. Upon consumption of mutated prion, the cellular prion proteins become deformed, which leads to the creation of the plaque fiber in the brain. Another fact is that sterilization at a low temperature can aid the disease spreading. Humans contract this disease when a person consumes diseased brain or spine nerve tissue. Some say that the chances for contracting this problem are 1:1000000. This disease has taken more then 200 lives, but in America, there have been no cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakobs disease among humans. By now there have been 188 506 cases of mad cow disease, among which a great majority comes form the United Kingdom. For the end, we have to say that this problem has not been affecting New Zealand or Australia, since they cattle there consume only grass.

As we have said, the problem is usually created when cattle eats infected meat of other animals. This is something about which the laws should be more rigorous, limiting the possibility of creating a potential problem. In Europe, cattle are given supplements that can create the problem. Giving cattle grass will certainly limit or even eliminate the problem.

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