What is bovine spongiform encephalopathy (Mad Cow Disease)?
BSE is a progressive neurological disorder of cattle resulting from infection by a prion. By September 2006, 196 human cases of VCD were reported in the United Kingdom and seven in other countries.
In addition to the cases of BSE reported in the United Kingdom (83 percent of all cases were reported there), cases have also been reported in other countries, including Belgium, France, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, Canada, and the United States. Public health control measures have been implemented in each country of Europe to prevent potentially BSE-infected tissues from entering the human food chain. These preventative measures appear to have been effective. Other countries reporting a rare number of cases of BSE include Japan, Greece, and Finland.