Relax, there is no mad cow disease in Kenya

Early last week, a report from a scientific publication send shockwaves after claiming there is a reported case of mad cow disease in Kenya.

In a joint statement, the ministries of Health, and that of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives have come out rebutting claims that there is existence of mad cow disease in the country as alleged by Standard Health and Science publication on February 22.

“The Ministry of Health and the Directorate of Veterinary Services wish to inform the public that there is no confirmed case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (vCJD) or mad cow disease in humans and animals in Kenya,” noted a joint statement from the ministries of Health, and that of Agriculture and Livestock.

Mad cow disease, also called Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), is a fatal infection that slowly destroys the brain and spinal cord in cattle.

People can rarely get mad cow disease. In very rare cases, however, people can get a human variant of mad cow infection referred as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), which is equally fatal.

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“The newspaper article was based on a published paper about a patient admitted at a Nairobi hospital. However, the authors of the published paper categorically stated that the case was not confirmed,” added the statement signed by the Ag. Director for Health, Dr Patrick Amoth, and the Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Obadiah Njagi.

The government asked science and health publishers to carry out due diligence before sharing information that can negatively hurt the economy while also causing panic in the country.

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