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Mad Cow Disease

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.
  • Symptoms:
    • 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.