Mad cow disease in California is making headline across the world. Meanwhile many people wonder if the disease can go airborne and affect humans. But so far there is no threat of its spreading to humans
Mad Cow Disease is attracting lots of attention not just in the US where a cow has been detected to be suffering from this deadly disease. Several nations have reacted immediately to the report of a cow in the US suffering from Mad Cow disease, with Russia saying that it was studying the issue and will take a decision after thorough investigation.
But two nations that import large quantities of beef from the US have made it clear that they are stopping the import of the beef from North America in general and the US in particular. This is an important development and the government in the US and USFDA are both trying to clear the misconceptions about the deadly disease.
Mad Cow disease was discovered in just a single cow in the US. This was detected out of 40000 random checks that is conducted in the US every year to detect the Mad Cow Disease. There is heightened interest in the disease as it can spread to humans too. A report suggests that Mad Cow Disease can even go airborne. A report while discussing how the disease can go airborne says, “scientists have indeed found that the prions responsible for mad cow disease and other neurological ailments can float on the breeze and infect those who inhale…Researchers sprayed an aerosol containing as little as 2.5 per cent infected brain tissue into a chamber containing healthy mice, and found that all of the exposed mice sickened and died of the prion disease scrapie within six months. The mice that spent the most time in the chamber (the exposure times ranged from 1 to 10 minutes) showed signs of the disease soonest. Study coauthor Adriano Aguzzi says it was a startling result”.
But right now there is no threat of spread of the disease in human or even in animals any further. The US government has acted decisively to alleviate any misgiving. A leading market analyst Heather Jones says, “In retrospect, they didn’t take that seriously and I think they underestimated the impact the media could have on consumer behavior…I think they wanted to be all over this to quell any concerns domestically, and also you don’t want to lose any of your export markets.” But the whole world seems to be watching the US and its government as to how it deals with the issue in the days to come.