Mad cow disease still a threat to Britons

It might take 50 years to show up in humans

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A neurologist says people could still be dying of mad cow’s disease because they ate beef from infected cattle.

In 1993, British officials slaughtered 4.4 million cattle to get rid of the disease that was blamed for 177 deaths.

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, BSE, or mad cow’s disease, is slow to develop by attacking brains. It might take 50 years to show up in humans as Creuitzfeldt Jakob Disease (CJD).

Neurology professor, Richard Knight, of Edinburgh’s CJD Surveillance Unit, told a British Broadcasting Corporation investigation that it is still unclear how many could be affected.

“There is still so much uncertainty about this disease,” he said for a broadcast to be aired July 11.

“At the moment I have to say we are simply not sure (how many people are silently infected), but every prediction suggests there are going to be further cases.”

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