Let me clarify…I never said in my post that humans cannot contract CJD from cows infected with the disease. If I led anyone to believe that I am sorry…I did not mean to mislead. Humans can possibly contract CJD by eating meat from cows infected with BSE.
This bit of information is from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and should help anyone confused by my post:
"What is Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease?
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare, degenerative, invariably fatal brain disorder. Typically, onset of symptoms occurs at about age 60.. There are three major categories of CJD: sporadic CJD, hereditary CJD, and acquired CJD. There is currently no single diagnostic test for CJD. The first concern is to rule out treatable forms of dementia such as encephalitis or chronic meningitis. The only way to confirm a diagnosis of CJD is by brain biopsy or autopsy. In a brain biopsy, a neurosurgeon removes a small piece of tissue from the patient’s brain so that is can be examined by a neurologist. Because a correct diagnosis of CJD does not help the patient, a brain biopsy is discouraged unless it is need to rule out a treatable disorder. While CJD can be transmitted to other people, the risk of this happening is extremely small."
Bovine diseases cannot be contracted by humans. However, a similar disease to BSE, CJD, can be contracted by humans. From the FDA:
"BSE belongs to a group of progressive degenerative neurological diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). TSE diseases are always fatal. The TSE diseases include scrapie, which affects sheep and goats; transmissible mink encephalopathy; feline (cat) spongiform encephalopathy; and chronic wasting disease of deer and elk. There are six TSE diseases that affect people: kuru, classical Creutzfeldt- Jakob disease (CJD) and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), Gerstmann-Str�ussler-Scheinker syndrome, fatal familial insomnia, and sporadic fatal insomnia. The human diseases are very rare; for example, classical CJD has been well studied and occurs sporadically worldwide at a rate of about one case per one million people." 5-10 percent of the cases are inherited. It is believed, but not yet proven, that CJD can be contracted from eating the contaminated beef of BSE cows, since the diseases are so similar. But I think, considering the number of people that have died in Britain because of CJD after the discovery of BSE there (~140 cases), none of this can be taken lightly. Especially when it comes to our nation’s blood supply.
Despite the small percentage of contracting CJD, I don’t think we should trivialize the importance of the discovery in the US, or belittle those who choose not to eat beef because of this.
The last I will say on the subject…That was way too much from me as it is!