Brazil, the world’s largest beef exporter, reported its first suspected case of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which is known to be linked to a cattle illness known as mad cow.
The city of Campinas, in Sao Paulo state, was notified of the possible case on Nov. 12, the city’s health department said on its website. The city said there’s no transmission of the disease in Brazil.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, an incurable human illness that destroys brain tissue, has been linked to eating meat from animals infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, known as BSE or mad cow.
At least 139 people worldwide have died from the human variant of BSE, according to the World Health Organization’s website. Most of the deaths were in the U.K.
Brazil’s beef exports totaled $4.12 billion in 2009, according to the Ministry’s of Agriculture website. The country has never reported a case of mad cow.
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