An 11 month-old baby girl in Britain is suffering from the human form of Mad Cow Disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Disease or BSE) which she caught while in her mother?s womb. Her mother died from the disease seven months after giving birth.

A 14 year old girl in northern England recently died from BSE. Her family allowed TV cameras to broadcast the last days of her life, as a warning to others. Her mother said she felt guilty since she allowed her daughter to eat hamburgers several times a week. The girl was diagnosed with the disease two years ago. “It was as though she went to bed one person and got up a completely different person,” her mother said on Channel Four television.

There have been almost 100 confirmed deaths from BSE in Britain. Most of the victims have been young people. It?s thought that teenagers may be catching the disease from school cafeterias and fast food outlets.

In New Orleans, a patient who died after brain surgery may have spread BSE to 8 other patients through contaminated medical instruments. Tulane University hospital destroyed the instruments after they realized the patient died of BSE. Although they were put through the normal procedures of washing and sterilization, that may not have been sufficient to destroy the contamination. The 8 patients who had operations using the same instruments are being watched to see if they develop symptoms.

“Half of the surgical instruments used in tonsil operations could be contaminated,” according to a hospital spokesman in the U.K. Tonsils are often infected before other symptoms appear.

There have been no known cases of BSE being spread by blood transfusions, although tests have proven that the disease can spread when tainted blood is transferred from one sheep to another.

Four cases of BSE have been documented that were caused by giving human growth hormone to short children in the 1980?s. Another growth hormone was given to infertile women by injection during the same period. The National Institutes of Health in the U.S. has shredded the records of infertile women treated with this substance by gynecologists during the past 15 years.

Dietary supplements, used by almost half of Americans, often contain raw animal products that may be contaminated with BSE. Many products sold in health food stores contain raw animal products such as cow thymus, liver and brain.

The disease has been transmitted to the living when they handle dead bodies in mortuaries.

85 animals in English zoos, 24 species from 4 different countries, have become infected with BSE. British house cats are becoming infected with a feline version of the disease from being given food containing animal by-products. Fifteen percent of deer and elk in Colorado and Wyoming are infected with a similar disease, and there have been newspaper reports of at least 3 deaths of people who ate venison.

Despite strict restrictions on the importation of British beef, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal have all reported cases of patients with Mad Cow Disease. After a sharp rise in the disease in France, other European countries have banned French beef as well.

Austrian Farm Minister Wilhelm Molterer said that extending the ban from cattle and sheep to pigs and poultry would lead to more imports of protein-rich soybeans from the U.S., almost all of which are genetically-modified, replacing one danger with another.

Sources: The Ark Institute, The British Telegraph, The London Times, The New Scientist, The Pennsylvania News, Reuters, The Associated Press, The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet. See {http://www.mad-cow.org and {http://www.arkinstitute.com.

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