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Mad cow disease causes two deaths in Spain

Latest update : 2008-04-07

Two people from the central region of Castilla-Leon have died after contracting Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), the human form of the mad cow disease, regional authorities stated.

MADRID, April 7 (Reuters) - Two people have died in Spain
from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, the human form of mad
cow disease, the health department of the regional Castilla-Leon
government said on Monday.

The Carlos III Institute, which specialises in epidemics,
said it had logged three deaths from vCJD since 2005, including
those announced in Castilla-Leon.

A health department spokesman from the northern region said
one person had died of vCJD 15 to 20 days ago, and one in late
December or early January.

Juan Jose Badiola, the director for Spain's National
Reference Centre for Transmitted Spongiform Encephalopathy, said
there was no cause for alarm.

"It is most likely that both victims contracted the disease
more than eight years ago," Badiola said in a report by Europa

The European Union in January 2001 banned the use of animal
and bone meal in animal feed in order to prevent the spread of
mad cow disease and vCJD.

The National Health Service in Britain, where several deaths
from vCJD have been reported, says on its Web site that similar
infections take between 15 and 20 years to become active.

Mad cow disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, first
emerged in Britain in the 1980s and has been found in herds in
several European and other countries. Scientists believe it is
transmitted through infected meat and bone meal fed to cattle
and may cause vCJD in humans.

Date created : 2008-04-07