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Mad cow disease

1-minute read

Mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), is a severe neurological disease in cattle that causes damage to the brain and spinal cord. Consumption of food contaminated with infected animal carcasses can lead to serious illness in humans.

The human form of mad cow disease is called variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. There is often confusion between these two illnesses. No cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease have been identified in Australia to date.

Following the initial cases of mad cow disease (BSE) in the United Kingdom in 1986, Australian government bodies and industry have worked to mitigate human risk from BSE through careful risk management strategies to beef supplies.

Follow the links below to find trusted information about bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

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Last reviewed: August 2017

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Mad cow disease (Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, transmissible spongiform encephalopathy; new variant CJD) | HealthEngine Blog

Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy; BSE) causes dementia and movement disorders. One cause is eating beef contaminated with BSE.

Read more on HealthEngine website

Brain Foundation | Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Read more at Virtual Medical Centre Description Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare brain disorder

Read more on Brain Foundation website

Department of Health | Australia's measures to protect human health

This page contains details of measures taken by the Australian Government to protect the health of the Australian public from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).

Read more on Department of Health website

Department of Health | Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in animals

Entry to the Department's web pages on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in animals and its links to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans.

Read more on Department of Health website

Department of Health | Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains questions and answers about bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in animals and its links with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans.

Read more on Department of Health website

Department of Health | Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease information

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and a link to printable version in PDF format

Read more on Department of Health website

Creutzfeldt - Jakob Disease

Read more on Queensland Health website

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease - including symptoms, treatment and prevention :: SA Health

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a very rare illness, affecting about one person per million population worldwide, and has been recognised for about 80 years. In almost all cases the source of infection is not apparent – these are called sporadic cases.

Read more on SA Health website

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) factsheet - Fact sheets

A factsheet about Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease which is a rare brain disease that is caused by abnormal brain proteins called prions.

Read more on NSW Health website

Department of Health | Office of Health Protection (OHP)

This page contains information on the roles of OHP and the responsibilities of each Branch.

Read more on Department of Health website

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