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2005

Medicine and Health Sciences

Humans

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Sacred Disease Of Our Times: Failure Of The Infectious Disease Model Of Spongiform Encephalopathy, Vivian Mcalister May 2005

Sacred Disease Of Our Times: Failure Of The Infectious Disease Model Of Spongiform Encephalopathy, Vivian Mcalister

Vivian C. McAlister

BACKGROUND: Public health and agricultural policy attempts to keep bovine spongiform encephalopathy out of North America using infectious disease containment policies. Inconsistencies of the infectious disease model as it applies to the spongiform encephalopathies may result in failure of these policies.

METHODS: Review of historical, political and scientific literature to determine the appropriate disease model of spongiform encephalopathy.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Spongiform encephalopathy has always occurred sporadically in man and other animals. Hippocrates may have described it in goats and cattle. Transmission of spongiform encephalopathy between individuals is too uncommon for it to be usefully considered an infection. Spongiform encephalopathy is ...