SHEEP DISEASE SIMILAR TO MAD COW (fwd)

Lawrence F. London, Jr. london at metalab.unc.edu
Tue Jul 18 11:17:01 EDT 2000



---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2000 08:41:44 -0500
From: Mike Miller <mmiller at pcsia.com>
To: sanet-mg at ces.ncsu.edu
Subject: SHEEP DISEASE SIMILAR TO MAD COW

FYI from http://ens.lycos.com/ens/jul2000/2000L-07-17-09.html  Mike Miller

SHEEP FOUND WITH DISEASE SIMILAR TO MAD COW
WASHINGTON, DC, July 17, 2000 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
will destroy 376 sheep from three Vermont flocks after four sheep were
confirmed positive on July 10 for a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy
(TSE). TSE is a class of degenerative neurological diseases that are
characterized by a very long incubation period and a 100 percent mortality
rate. TSE's are not known to be very contagious, but some scientists
believe that mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, can be
transmitted to humans. The sheep disease, scrapie, is believed to be
related to the disease in cows, but there is no evidence that scrapie poses
a risk to human health.
USDA is purchasing one flock of 21 sheep and has issued an order to seize
two other flocks of 355 sheep. The owners of the sheep will receive fair
market value for their animals, which USDA will then destroy to prevent the
possible contamination of other livestock. Further testing, which will take
several years, is required to determine which type of TSE has infected
these sheep. The original sheep, imported from Belgium and the Netherlands
in 1996, were placed under limited federal restrictions when they entered
the country, as part of USDA's voluntary scrapie eradication efforts. In
1998, USDA learned that it was likely that European sheep were exposed to
feed contaminated with BSE. At USDA's request, the state of Vermont imposed
a quarantine on these flocks, prohibiting their slaughter or sale for
breeding purposes. Since 1996, USDA has been monitoring these flocks for
any evidence of TSE. Milk from these sheep was sold and used to produce
cheese that also was sold. None of the imported sheep were slaughtered for
human consumption, but some offspring of these animals were slaughtered for
human consumption. For further information on TSE's, visit
http://www.who.int/emc/diseases/bse/ and http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases




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