SCIENTISTS studying bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow disease agree that there is a risk that BSE may have passed into flocks of sheep and goats in the United Kingdom. These sheep were fed with BSE-contaminated meat and bone meal till July 1998 which could have infected the sheep brain.
If true, this could have serious implications. The meat of the infected sheep, if eaten, could carry the infection to human beings posing a "potential national emergency, said a member of the British government's Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC). In August, SEAC confirmed that the total number of cases of Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (CJD) - the human version Of BSE - is 27 in the UK. CJD is a fatal disease in which there is degeneration of the nerve cells in the brain, causing mental, physical and sensory disturbances such as dementia and seizures.
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