INFECTIOUS AGENT

  • BSE agent, a virus-like agent similar to scrapie prion in sheep

MODE OF TRANSMISSION

  • probably ingestion by cattle of poorly disinfected sheep offal

DISTRIBUTION

  • epidemic in England in 1990; cases in France and Switzerland

INCUBATION PERIOD AND COMMUNICABILITY

  • unknown

TREATMENT

  • none

PREVENTION AND CONTROL

  • destruction of infected animals to prevent spread

  • control measures instituted during 1990 epidemic: restrictions on use of cattle serum and cells for pharmaceutical (including vaccines) manufacturing in Europe

  • changes in the rendering process (a return to batch processing and solvent use) will probably provide effective control

FACTORS FACILITATING EMERGENCE

  • changes in the rendering process: continuous processing and elimination of solvents

California Serogroup Viruses (LaCrosse, Jamestown Canyon, California Encephalitis)

DISEASE(S) AND SYMPTOMS

  • acute, inflammatory viral diseases of short duration involving parts of the brain, spinal cord, and meninges

  • many infections are asymptomatic; severe infections involve acute onset, headache, high fever, stupor, disorientation, tremors, spasticity, and coma

  • case fatality rate is 0.5 percent

DIAGNOSIS

  • demonstration of antibodies in blood or cerebrospinal fluid



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