Doctor insights on:
How Do Cows Get Mad Cow
Very unlikely in USA: No humans have ever been reported to have been infected with mad cow disease in the usa, but many feared the disease in the 1990s when nearly 150 people in britain died from it. Earlier this year, a dairy cow in ca was found to have be infected -- but it didn't get into the food chain. It's more likely to get other infections such as e coli from undercooked beef, than it is to get mad cow. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
The human equivalent: Of mad cow disease was first reported in 1996. There have been several hundred cases, mostly in the uk, and it appears that in the last few years, there are few if any cases. The risk currently is very, very low. Remember, cooking the ground beef to well done or beyond does not decrease the risk. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
More research: "mad cow disease" is also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (bse) -- the human variant is called variant creuzfeldt-jakob disease. The transmissible agent seems to be an abnormal protein found on cell surfaces called a "prion". But eating infected nerve tissue is not necessarily needed, because both meat-eaters and vegetarians have died of creuzfeldt -jakob disease. More to be learned. ...Read more
The human form of...: Mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) is called variant creutzfeldt-jakob disease and is primarily acquired through eating contaminated beef. Now almost 2 decades after the huge bse outbreak in cattle in the uk and some other parts of europe, there are basically no more cases occurring. Standard cjd in people occurs and is not related to cows and has an incidence of 1 in a million. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Can you get mad cow disease by eating meat from the usa? Can you still get mad cow disease even if the meat is cooked?
Yes/yes: Although rare, it is possible to acquire a prion disease similar to mad cow from eating meat contaminated with infected brain tissue. Prions are different than viruses, bacteria, and fungi in that they can survive heat. Extremely high heat or strong chemicals are needed to kill/destroy prions. ...Read more
Remotely possible: The human version of mad cow disease (vcjd) may be caused by eating beef products contaminated with central nervous system tissue from infected cattle. The usda requires all brain and spinal cord materials be removed from older cattle and any showing signs of neurological problems. Cdc says there are no cases of vcjd in usa. There's a rare sporadic form not linked to eating neuro tissue, tho'. ...Read more
No.: Mad Cow Disease is caused by prions, organisms that are even simpler than viruses. Prions infect the brain and spinal cord of affected animals. Gelatin comes from skin, joints and bones of animal products. Gelatin couldn't "gel" if it was contaminated with brain or spinal cord tissue. So it would be EXTREMELY UNLIKELY that you could get mad cow from vitamins or candy. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
No: Almost anything is possible, but you're probably ten time more likely to be struck and killed by a piece of space debris. ...Read more
Eat the meat: Mad cow disease is a "slow virus" which enters the brain and then causes an ultimately fatal ending. One of the chief ways of acquiring this agent is to eat it. The same virus has been transmitted through bone grafts, corneal transplants, blood product contamination. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
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