Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a disease of cattle which affects the central nervous system, causing agitation and staggering, and is usually fatal. It is believed to be caused by an agent such as a prion or a virino, and to be related to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Also (popularly) called mad cow disease.
- Such study also raises the question of whether this is a new disease, as the hypothesis of the infectivity of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy prion to humans and the novelty of the condition are inextricably linked.
- Due to red meat consumption, bovine spongiform encephalopathy disease has been a major human health concern since its discovery in 1986.
- While there has been no incidence of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, in the United States, the disease has garnered a great deal of attention in the U.S. media in recent weeks.
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