Woman dead months after son died of mad cow disease
September 26, 2008
The mother of a Spanish man who died from the human form of mad cow disease has also died from the illness, Spain’s Ministry of Health said yesterday. Her disease was a variant of Creutzfeltd-Jakob disease (CJD) linked to the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) otherwise known as mad cow disease.
It is believed to be the first case in the world where two members of the same family have died from mad cow disease, said Juan Jose Badiola, director of Spain’s national research center for mad cow disease.
Until now, Badiola added, clinical evidence that he’s seen from the United Kingdom and France — which have had the most deaths due to the human form of mad cow disease — have not recorded two cases in a single family.
The mother, in her early 60s, died last month. The government confirmed that it was because of mad cow disease but did not, by custom, make her name public.
Her son, 41, died in February from the same disease, Badiola said.
The latest confirmed case makes a total of four deaths in Spain from mad cow disease since 2005.
Three of these cases in Spain were in the same northern province, Leon, which is another unusual aspect that will be studied, Badiola said.
Ten years can pass between eating contaminated tissue and the appearance of the human form of the disease, called variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease, health officials say.