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The Horrifying Details Of Mad Cow Disease

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The Horrifying Details of Mad Cow Disease


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Research Writing


September 30, 2002

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The Horrifying Details of Mad Cow Disease

Mad Cow Disease, scientifically referred to as (BSA) Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, is a disease that affects those humans who eat the meat from infected cows.

I. Introduction

II. Opening Story

A. Introduction to story

B. Where he is from

C. Beginning point

D. Effects

C. Death

III. How it comes to be

A. How it spreads

B. What they feed the animals

C. Who has been infected

D. Step by step example

IV. Effects

A. What the disease does

B. How it affects humans

C. How it affects animals

V. Statistics and examples

A. Amount of Victims

B. Centuries of Diseases

C. Case Studies

VII. Conclusion

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The Horrifying Details of Mad Cow Disease

Mad Cow Disease, scientifically referred to as (BSE) Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, is a disease that affects those humans who eat the meat from infected cows. Mad Cow Disease is one of several fatal brain diseases called (TSE) Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy. (USDA) There was evidence of a new illness resembling the sheep disease scrapie. It was technically named BSE but quickly acquired the mad cow tag because of the way infected cattle behave. (CNN) In 1997, there was an award given to Stanley Prusiner, for concluding that a distorted protein called a prion was responsible for Mad Cow Disease, noted the long incubation period made it difficult to distinguish (Bryant). Another name for Mad Cow Disease is the new variant Cruetzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), similar to the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, which is a deadly brain illness that strikes about one per million per year (USDA) due to genetic or unknown causes while the vCJD is contracted from eating infected cows (USDA). Both CJD and vCJD are so similarly named because of the similar effects from the illness.

This case study shows the effect of CJD. The story has been said to be on the natural occurring CJD but is still in the family with the same kind of effects as vCJD. It is just contracted differently. According to Rocky Mountain News in an article written by Lou Kilzer, Tracie Mcewen noticed something wrong for the first time on Mother's Day of 1998 (Kilzer). Doug, her husband, always made her homemade cards for Mother's Day, but he did not this year. Although Tracie thought Doug was mad at her or just being forgetful, he died ten months later from a rare brain ravaging disease (Kilzer). After his death an autopsy showed that it was not Mad Cow Disease. Some scientists wondered if his and four other deaths were somehow connected to a related disease in deer and elk called (CWD) Chronic Wasting Disease, considering that Doug was an avid hunter (Kilzer). Before losing Doug, Tracie wrote the following accounts of the ravages for

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a support group, serving families of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease victims (Kilzer). Tracie's letter was written in January of 1999.

Tracie was twenty-eight years old at the time, and Doug was thirty years old. They have two girls, Sharon who is eight years old and Rilee who is three years old. They live about thirty miles north of Salt Lake City, Utah. Doug started having problems in the early summer. One of the first events was he forgot how to spell his name. Then he forgot little things, like to bring home some milk and even though Tracie called. He started having trouble getting all of his paper work done, so Tracie was doing his monthly expense report. About a month later, she noticed that he was having a hard time doing basic math. By the end of July, Doug was terrible. He went to Idaho on a business trip and was late calling home because he could not remember their phone number. When Tracie asked why he did not use directory assistance, he claimed he could not remember how to spell their last name (Kilzer).

By the middle of August, he could barely work. He blamed it on stress from traveling for work. He thought a new job might help, so Tracie typed his resignation because he could not remember how to use a computer. When he was looking for a new job, they found out that he could not fill out an application by himself. By the end of the month, they sold their mobile home that they lived in while finishing college and were going to move into the house they have just built, but Doug had no job. Tracie had not found a teaching contract yet. She decided to take him to the doctor when some friends came to help them move, and Doug did not know who they were. Doug's resignation lost their insurance, so the kind house builder gave back all the money they put down. The

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family practitioner took blood tests. The test came back negative, and they were then sent to a psychologist. The psychologist claimed that Doug was depressed or had conversion disorder (meaning life had become too stressful, and all problems were in his head, mentally so he could get out of work). Tracie knew that the doctor was wrong, so the psychologist recommended a neurologist (Kilzer).

The first time Tracie heard of CJD was from the neurologist. When they met, the neurologist said, "I know what you are worrying about, but he is too young, and this disease is too rare". After he said



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