Mad cow disease confirmed in Texas

Mad cow disease has caused a fourth death in the United States, health officials say.

Lab tests have confirmed that a patient in Texas who recently died had Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a fatal brain disorder linked to eating beef from cattle with mad cow disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a press release.

Variant CJD was first identified in the United Kingdom in 1996, according to the CDC. Worldwide more than 220 cases have been reported, the majority in Europe. CDC officials said this is only the fourth case to be reported in the United States, and that each U.S. infection is believed to have happened while the patient was traveling abroad.

The Texan patient traveled "extensively" to Europe and the Middle East, the CDC said.

"There are no Texas public health concerns or threats associated with this case," the Texas Department of State Health Services posted to its website.

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