The Netherlands has reported its first human case of mad cow disease. Doctors have diagnosed a patient at a hospital in the central town of Utrecht with variant &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2000/10/06/122.html ' target=_blank>Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease - the human form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
The Government is investigating whether any other people could have been infected, but says the chance is extremely small, as the patient was neither a donor nor a recipient of blood or tissue.
Around 150 cases of the brain-wasting disease have been reported in the world, mostly in Britain. The disease is fatal and incurable, informs ABC News.
Seventy-seven Dutch cows are known to have been infected since 1997 with bovine spongiform commonly called mad cow disease, which is believed to cause variant CJD in humans.
The patient, whose name was not released, is believed to have contracted the disease by eating tainted beef, the Health Ministry said in a statement.
Jan van Wijngaarde, an inspector with the Health Ministry, said the infected patient is a 26-year-old woman whose “prognosis is poor.” She is being cared for in a hospital in Utrecht. Testing conducted in the Netherlands and Scotland confirmed she was suffering from variant CJD.