Texas Patient Dies of Mad Cow Variant, but Officials Say Not to Worry

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

State and federal health officials have confirmed that a Texas patient has died of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a rare and fatal brain disorder "associated with beef consumption overseas."

"There are no Texas public health concerns or threats associated with this case," the Texas Department of State Health Services posted on its site. The identity and location of the patient -- who is only the fourth case of variant CJD in the U.S. -- have not been released.

"First described in 1996 in the United Kingdom, variant CJD is a rare, degenerative, fatal brain disorder in humans," according to a Centers for Disease Control press release. "It is believed to be caused by consumption of products from cows with the disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or 'mad cow' disease)."

The Texas patient, like the other three patients who died from the disease, was likely infected outside of the U.S., officials say.

"The history of this fourth patient includes extensive travel to Europe and the Middle East," according to Texas officials.

The CDC reports that "worldwide, more than 220 variant CJD patients have been reported, with a majority of them in the United Kingdom (177 cases) and France (27 cases)."

The CDC also states that "a classic form of CJD, which is not caused by the BSE agent, occurs worldwide, including in the United States. Annually, for every 1 million people in the United States, 1 to 2 develops classic CJD."

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.