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Incurable human "mad cow" disease kills two in Spain
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08:44, April 08, 2008

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Two people died in Spain due to the Creutzfeldt-Jakob brain disease, the human variation of the "mad cow" disease, medical officials said on Monday.

The victims were aged 40 and 51 and lived in the central Castilla-Leon region. The first three months ago and the second some 15-20 days ago, added the medical officials.

Castilla and Leon's Sanitary Department discarded an epidemic of the illness and stated it has announced the deaths to national and European health networks.

The Sanitary Department has not revealed the names of the two deceased people nor the exact place where they died.

The Castilla-Leon regional agriculture minister, Silvia Clemente, said the two new victims apparently contracted the disease prior to 2001 and health controls on livestock and meat production are much tighter now than they were then.

The Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is incurable and is caused by a prion that attacks the victim's brain leaving it with a sponge-like consistency.

The prior death from this disease in Spain occurred in 2005 in Madrid attacking a 26 year-old woman.

Spain has reported more than 700 cases of mad cow disease since it was first detected in this country in 2000, according to health ministry figures.

Source: Xinhua

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