Leon woman may have died from mad cow disease

28th August 2008, Comments 0 comments

Two Spaniards – a woman and her son - could be the world’s first pair of family members to die of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease if investigations confirmed doctors’ suspicions.

28 August 2008

MADRID -- Spanish health authorities are investigating whether the recent death of a woman from Leon could have been caused by Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), the human form of mad cow disease (BSE). Given that the woman's son died in February 2008 of CJD, this could be the first case in the world of two members of the same family dying from the illness.

The 60-year-old died last week in the Hospital de Leon, where she was being treated for an unidentified neurological disorder. Doctors, however, suspect that she was suffering from CJD, which can be contracted from eating meat from animals infected with BSE, and has an incubation period of up to 10 years.

If the autopsy reveals the woman was suffering from CJD, it would be the third confirmed death from the disease in Castilla y Leon, and the fourth confirmed death for the whole of Spain.

[El Pais / Expatica]

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