A man from Great Britain has been diagnosed with the human form of mad cow disease, the second documented U.S. case of the illness, the federal Centers for Disease Control said Monday.
The man in all likelihood contracted variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the United Kingdom. But because his symptoms began while he was living in Houston, he will be listed as a U.S. case, as is customary.
"Almost certainly, this case represents a continuation of the outbreak that is going on in the United Kingdom," said Lawrence B. Schonberger, a CDC medical epidemiologist.
Earlier this year, the man returned to Great Britain, where he is receiving medical treatment for the fatal illness. He lived in Houston four years.
The disease is contracted by eating the brain or other nervous system tissue of an animal infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, more commonly known as mad cow disease.
The initial U.S. case involved a woman from Great Britain who was living in Florida. She died last year, Schonberger said. She too was believed to have contracted the disease in Britain.