Australian's death may be linked to mad cow diseasegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
SYDNEY, Australia (May 13, 2001 9:17 a.m. EDT) - Health authorities are testing the remains of a 74-year-old Australian man said to have shown symptoms of the brain-wasting illness linked to mad cow disease, a newspaper reported Sunday.
The man, who was not identified, died March 30 after months of unusual behavior that doctors told his family may have been symptoms of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper said. ... The Telegraph said the man had traveled to Britain and France in 1993 and had eaten meat products during his six-week vacation.
The man's widow, who did not wish to be identified, said he had acted "very strangely" in the months before his death. "I thought he was going mad, to be honest," she was quoted as saying.
The Telegraph said doctors are conducting tests on the man's brain tissue, with a diagnosis expected within a week.
-- Rachel Gibson (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 13, 2001
Yes, it could be the "new variant" CJD (i.e., linked to BSE = Mad Cow), it could be the classic form of CJD (based especially on his age), or could be something completely unrelated. The article says brain tissue is available; the tests presumably being done will distinguish between the three possibilities I have listed.
The newspaper headline is technically correct but in my opinion alarmist until all the facts are in. If this unfortunate man's illness turns out NOT to be "new variant" CJD, will the newspaper run an equally prominent article announcing this fact?
-- Andre Weltman, M.D. (email@example.com), May 14, 2001.