Re: "Mad Cow" Animal Seizures in Vermont (sort of)

From: Charlie Stross (
Date: Thu Mar 22 2001 - 11:51:14 MST

On Thu, Mar 22, 2001 at 08:28:51AM -0800, Robert J. Bradbury wrote:
> On Thu, 22 Mar 2001, Michael Lorrey wrote:
> > nor can sheep get Mad Cow disease.
> Not true Mike. Sheep get "scrapie" which is their variant of MCD.
> I think in fact the cows got it from being fed the remains of sheep.
> I have not heard though that pigs can get it.
It's considerably more complex than that. Scrapie in sheep is a prion
disease -- but it's been around for centuries and there's no evidence
for transmission to other species. *However*, the BSE agent that
causes nvCJD in humans is known to be transmissable to sheep (and
humans, and cats, and ferrets, and mice, and pigs, and ...).

The jury is still out on how bad this can get.

-- Charlie (living in the country where it started)

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