The Florida Department of Agriculture announced that it had detected a case of mad cow disease in a six-year-old cow in Florida.
The Department said Wednesday that the mad cow disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), is a neurological disorder of cattle. The disease was found in a crossbreed cow, the department said in a statement.
The cow has not set footpaths for slaughter, there is currently no risk to the diet and a person's health is not at risk, according to the department. The department found that the form of BSE in the cow is not contagious.
"This recognition shows how well our surveillance system works, and we are grateful to our partners in the US Department of Agriculture, who work with us day after day to carry out routine surveillance and protect consumers," said Agriculture Commissioner Adam H. Putnam Statement.
The form of BSE found in the cow differs significantly from the classical BSE, which typically occurs in older cattle and rarely affects the entire cattle population, according to the Ministry of Health. The cow was tested by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspectorate (APHIS) and the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) confirmed the disease in the cow and are still investigating the case. [1
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 cases of mad cow disease have been found in North America by July 2017. According to the CDC, five cases were found in the US and 20 cases in Canada. The risk of getting BSE or mad cow disease in the US is extremely low.
The CDC states that classic BSE has been transmitted to persons in the UK in which 1 million cattle were infected by the disease. Classic BSE can cause a form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob (CJD) disease, which is a rare, degenerative, brain disorder that typically occurs in the elderly and is fatal, according to the CDC.
CJD is known as a prion disease, which is associated with rare progressive neurodegenerative diseases that can affect humans and animals, according to the CDC. The disease was found in the early 1920s and there are about 1 to 1.5 cases per 1 million population per year, the CDC states. In 2016, 492 people died of CJD in the United States.
A new study published in January suggested that another prion disease, known as a chronic wasting disease, usually behaves like a "zombie" and can be transmitted to people interacting with venison and eating it.