Mad Cow Disease
Mad cow disease is also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy and is a disease that affects cows. Scientists and doctors in the UK, the United States, and Canada believe that mad cow disease can affect people if they eat infected meat.
The human form of mad cow disease is called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease , or CJD . It is very serious and can cause severe neurological symptoms, but is extremely rare. It is not contagious and does not infect milk. You can only get it from eating tainted meat.
The government has steps in place to prevent infected cows or their meat from getting into New Zealand. And, if an infection does occur, the government has a system to get the tainted meat off of shop shelves.
What you need to know about mad cow disease
- Mad cow disease makes cows sick.
- The human form of mad cow disease is called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or CJD. It is not contagious.
Written by Rebecca Stigall for Kidspot, New Zealand’s parenting resource for family health. Sources include Better Health Channel, NSW Health and Health Insite.
Last revised: Thursday, 23 October 2014
This article contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.