Human mad cow in Minn. may be false alarm

WASHINGTON, May 25 (UPI) -- Media reports of a human case of mad cow disease in Minnesota appear to be a false alarm, United Press International has learned.

Reuters reported Tuesday cattle futures shares dropped after a Nashville television station said Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., was treating a patient for the human form of mad cow disease, also known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.


A spokesman for the Clinic, however, said there are no cases of the fatal, brain-wasting disease at the hospital.

"There's not a patient at Mayo Clinic being treated for the variant form of CJD," John Murphy told UPI.

A spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that account.

"The thought is this may stem from some testing we did almost a year ago, which involved an Army personnel who showed signs of variant CJD," CDC spokesman Llelwyn Grant told UPI. That case tested negative for vCJD and was ruled sporadic CJD, Grant said.

Sporadic CJD, which has not been tied to mad cow disease, occurs spontaneously and there are about 300 cases each year in the United States.


No cases of vCJD tied to U.S. beef have been reported in the United States.

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