Was UK Mystery Cow
Death A Bovine Polio Virus?

From Patricia Doyle, PhD
Hello Jeff - Again, we are given the reassurance that there is "no evidence of risk for humans."
"At present there is no evidence to suggest a risk to humans, but scientists are not ruling it out."
The "disease" affects the white matter of the brain which leads to paralysis and death. As to what virus, IF viral agent, is involved, remains a mystery.
"In layman's terms, a type of cattle polio was identified which we haven't seen before."
My question arises," is it a virus causing this cattle polio?" Could this be related to mad cow disease? Is there a pollutant or mycoplasma/spiroplasma/or spirochete triggering the destruction of the white matter in the brain.
IF humans consume meat, especially that which could contain CNS material, will humans contract the disease?
Recently, we have heard of mutating prion disease such as mutated or atypical scrapie, BSE etc etc. We have also learned of a strange mystery illness that killed Elk in the US. Is there any relation to this polio-like illness in cattle?
I wonder how many (downer) cattle with this illness have "slipped" through the slaughterhouse gate and entered the pet food chain, or worse, the human food chain?
Patricia Doyle
A ProMED-mail post ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 9 Jun 2004 From: ProMED-mail <> Source: BBC News, UK, 9 Jun 2004
Cow Death Sparks Virus Risk Probe
The mystery death of a cow in Cumbria [in England, just south of the Scottish border. - Mod.JW] has sparked a government investigation into any virus risk to humans. State vets are also examining the unexplained deaths of a further 20 animals as "a matter of urgency". The alert was triggered by the death of a milking heifer at a farm in Cumbria late in 2003.
The government's deputy chief vet, Frank Landeg, said the Health Protection Agency is looking into whether humans could be at risk. Mr Landeg said experts had been looking for any possible human link to the polio-like virus since the milking heifer died before Christmas 2003.
The animal's death could not be put down to any known cattle disease and has sparked concerns that an unknown condition could be in circulation. Tests on the heifer were carried out at the government's veterinary laboratory in Penrith.
It is thought a virus may be responsible for the condition, described as a type of cattle polio. But, so far, tests for various known bovine diseases have all proved negative. At present there is no evidence to suggest a risk to humans, but scientists are not ruling it out.
It is thought the brain disease vCJD originally passed to humans from cows infected with the closely related condition BSE.
Analysis of this cow's brain showed that the disease affected the white matter. This led to paralysis for 5 to 6 days, followed by death.
Mr Landeg defended not making details of the investigation public earlier. He said: "It does take time to put together a group to look at this, bearing in mind what we are talking about here is a possible examination of significance to man. "There is a great deal of uncertainty about this."
A spokesman from the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the case was being carefully investigated. He said: "The Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) have recorded possibly a new condition in cattle in the UK. "In layman's terms, a type of cattle polio was identified which we haven't seen before."
The animal was tested for a battery of diseases, all of which proved negative. The spokesman said no meat from the animal had been allowed into the food chain.
Mr Landeg added: "The fact is that we do not know whether there is any significance for man, because we have not been able to isolate a causal agent."
-- ProMED-mail
[This news item includes some additional information, such as the location and timing of the initial disease incident and the possibility - - yet to be substantiated -- of similar cases in the past.
2 statements need clarification: on the one hand, a "polio-like virus" is mentioned; on the other hand, it is stated that "no casual agent has been isolated". Can it be speculated that a "polio-like" virus, the etiology of which not yet established, has been detected by electron-microscopy? - Mod.AS]
[see also: Undiagnosed paralysis, bovine - UK 20040608.1543] .....................arn/pg/jw
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message board at: Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa Go with God and in Good Health



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