Mad cow disease is the common name for the disease DSE, or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy. A dairy cow tested positive for BSE in Central California. Agriculture Department Officials do not view this cow as a health threat because it has an "a-typical case" of mad cow disease and did not become infected through feed. John Clifford, Chief Veterinary Officer at the US Agriculture Department, said the cow is not a big health concern because it was not slaughtered for consumption and BSE cannot spread through milk.
This is only the fourth case
of Mad Cow Disease confirmed in the United States since the Agriculture Department began random testing. Previous cases include a Canadian-born cow detected in Washington State, a cow in Texas during 2005, and a cow in Alabama in 2006.
Human consumption of meat contaminated by BSE causes a rare and deadly nerve disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. Cattle infected by BSE are unable to overcome the disease, making it fatal in 100% of cows infected.