A few weeks after reporting the first case of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome in the U.S. had been transmitted by an Illinois man who had traveled abroad to Saudi Arabia, the CDC has confirmed the fourth case of Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease to affect a U.S. citizen.
The disease, more commonly known as mad cow disease, was found to be the cause of death after a brain autopsy was completed on a victim that died recently in Texas. As Smithsonian reports, the disease is caused by eating meat made from cows with bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
Mad cow disease became an international sensation when it was first discovered in 1996, and there have been 220 confirmed cases of the disease in the 18 years the world has known about it. According to WND, the majority of those cases (177) have been reported in the United Kingdom. The nation with the second highest amount of reports is France, with 17 confirmed cases of the disease.
The three previously-reported cases of mad cow disease in the U.S. were infected during travel outside the country. According to multiple sources, the patient who recently died in Texas was known to have traveled regularly and extensively outside the U.S. to Europe and the Middle East, where he likely became infected.