The media is running this Mad Cow found in America case into the ground. There has been one cow that has tested positive for the disease and by the
way the media is going on it might as well be the whole cattle industry. We as humans can contract a fatal variant of mad cow disease,
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, by eating infected beef products, but muscle cuts of beef ,including steaks and roasts, are safe.The fact of the matter is
the threat to me and you, even if we ate the cow that had the disease, is almost 0.
A cow's brain, it's spinal cord and the lower part of the small intestine are the locations were Mad Cow disease is located. These are all parts
that are removed from all Cow's in the US before being processed.
The disease itself is caused by prions. The so-called prions that cause mad cow disease are neither viruses nor bacteria but simply errant protein
molecules. Prions survive cooking and digestion, and seem to hide out in the body for 10 years or longer before growing in pockets in the brain.
Prions can't multiply because they aren't alive, but once they get into the brain, they convert healthy proteins into their deadly shape. Once the
disease takes hold, the pockets of bad prions expand and turn the brain into a spongy texture, which is why the cow version of the disease is called
bovine spongiform encephalopathy or commonly referred to as (BSE).
People who get the disease may harbor the prions for years before they begin to have psychological problems, bizarre behavior, depression or anxiety,
as well as sensation problems such as pins and needles. They lose their coordination, become paralyzed, and die within a few months.
Considering how the mad cow outbreak devastated the British cattle industry in the early 1990s, it's important to note the differences between the
British and Americans regarding beef. Americans are quite finicky about eating brains and such while in Europe the inhabitions are not as great. The
only reason why BSE continued to spread amongst the cattle in Britian is because the cattle industry would grind up the unused portions of the cows
that have already been processed, including brains and spinal cords, and feed it to the living livestock. Since that time this practice of livestock
feed has stopped around the world.
While Mad Cow disease completly devestated the British Cattle market only 153 people developed Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.
It is a long shot to think that since one cow has been infected that there may be a need for concern. The most logical explanation for the cow having
the disease is simple its body simply manufactured the prions on its own which happens in some humans.
Basically what I am saying here people is unless you are planning on having cow brain for supper just go on with your life.
[Edited on 5-1-2004 by SkepticOverlord]