Mad Cow Disease:
Brazil has halted its beef exports to China after a case of mad cow disease was confirmed in the northern state of Para.
- Mad Cow disease is also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
- It is a transmissible, slowly progressive, degenerative, and fatal disease which affects the central nervous system of adult cattle.
- It is caused by a protein called a prion, which is normally found on cell surfaces, called a prion,
- When this protein gets altered, it destroys the nervous system tissue- the brain and spinal cord.
- Transmission: A cow gets BSE by eating feed contaminated with parts that came from another cow that was sick with BSE.
- A common sign of BSE in cows is incoordination. A sick cow has trouble walking and getting up.
- It usually takes four to six years from the time a cow is infected with the abnormal prion to when it first shows symptoms of BSE.
- There are no vaccines available for this disease.