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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

Italy: Mad Cow

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    Posted: September 20 2018 at 1:41pm
Mad cow disease: Woman dies in Italy as fresh Europe outbreak feared

MAD cow disease has killed a woman in Italy after a year-long battle with the illness in hospital.

Published 20th September 2018

The victim, who remains unnamed by local media, was initially thought to have contracted dementia due to the effects on her brain and long-term memory.

Italian newspaper Oggi Treviso reports hospital staff “did everything possible” to save their patient’s life.

She is said to have died, aged 60, at the Cà Foncello hospital in Treviso, near Venice, after being admitted last July.

The disease, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, is typically transferred to humans after they eat infected cow flesh.

A British inquiry into the disease found it was caused by cattle being fed the remains of other cows in the form of meat and bones.

It is known to cause aggressive personality changes, mobility problems and memory loss.

Experts say rarer symptoms include persistent pacing, rubbing or licking.

Once clinical symptoms arise, they typically get worse over the upcoming weeks and months, eventually leading to recumbency, coma and death.

Mad cow disease can survive for months at a time within its victims without any detectable symptoms.

An epidemic of the disease reached its peak in the UK in 1993 – with close to 1,000 new cases reported every week.

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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