From: Reuters
Published April 7, 2008 10:40 AM

Two die in Spain from human form of mad cow disease

MADRID (Reuters) - Two people have died in Spain from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, the human form of mad cow disease, the health department at the regional Castilla-Leon government said on Monday.

The health department said these were not the first vCJD deaths in Spain but did not give details. Spanish national radio said the only previous case of a death from vCJD was in Madrid, in 2005.

A health department spokesman in the northwestern region said one person died of vCJD 15-20 days ago, and one in late December or early January.

Mad cow disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, first emerged in Britain in the 1980s and has been found in herds in several European and other countries. Scientists believe it is transmitted through infected meat and bone meal fed to cattle and may cause vCJD in humans.

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(Reporting by Itziar Reinlein; Writing by Martin Roberts; Editing by Tim Pearce)

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