Two farms have been quarantined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as the agency continues to investigate last month’s discovery of mad cow disease at a California dairy farm.
Authorities also have launched an investigation at a calf ranch where the initial infected cow was raised 10 years ago, according to a statement released late Wednesday by the USDA.
Last week, the USDA documented the fourth confirmed U.S. case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy — a brain wasting disease affecting cattle — known commonly as mad cow disease, at a rendering facility in central California. USDA officials said the cow was never presented for human consumption and was never a threat.
The farm where the cow was initially discovered has been under quarantine since the discovery, agriculture officials said. Wednesday’s announcement of a second quarantine involves a farm closely associated with the dairy where the sick cow was discovered last month, the USDA said. The agency is still trying to determine if any at-risk cattle are present at either of the two farms.
Eating contaminated meat or some other animal products from cattle that have BSE is thought to be the cause of [new variant: nvCJD or variant: vCJD but not sporadic CJD] Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The fatal brain disease was blamed for the deaths of 150 people in Britain, where there was an outbreak in the 1980s and 1990s.
In people, symptoms of the disease include psychiatric and behavioral changes, movement deficits, memory disturbances and cognitive impairments.
Still only a case of “thought to be” too since the only way transmission has been achieved is by direct injection and not by contact or consumption.