Expert wants coroners to test for mad cow
LONDON, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A British expert on the human form
of mad cow disease says it is essential that coroners test the brains and
spleens of all young people who die.
Professor John Collinge
says without post-mortem tests for the infection it is impossible to get
accurate information on how many people in Britain may be carrying it, The
Times of London reported Wednesday.
Collinge, a member of a government panel
monitoring the progress of spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease,
says systematic testing is vital to stopping its spread.
So far, 164 people in Britain are confirmed to
have died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human form of mad cow.
Under British law, coroners aren't required to
test for the infectious agent, a protein known as a prion.
"At the end of the day, they are public
servants and their job is to protect us," says Christine Lord, whose son
died of the disease. "This is a public health issue."
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