How to Eliminate the Mad Cow Disease Virus?

Update Date: Source: Network

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as "mad cow disease," refers to a disease caused by the mad cow virus. This virus cannot be killed by routine disinfection methods and requires high-temperature, high-pressure, and strong alkaline conditions to eliminate (such as heating at 134 degrees Celsius for one hour). However, beef products or items treated in this manner cannot be used normally.

The incubation period of bovine spongiform encephalopathy is 4 to 5 years. Sick cows may exhibit symptoms such as unsteady gait, weight loss, nervousness, and even mania. Currently, there is no specific therapeutic drug or vaccine available for this disease. Although China has not discovered any cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, there is always a risk of transmission from abroad. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen surveillance of cattle herds, especially those imported from foreign countries.

The main measures taken to prevent and control this disease include restricting imports and strengthening the quarantine of imported cattle, their meat products, and semen. It is especially important to avoid importing these products from countries where the disease is endemic. Strict measures should be taken to combat the smuggling of various animals and animal products. Enhanced management is required for ruminants after they enter the country, as the incubation period of this disease is relatively long and requires a prolonged period of isolation and observation. Strict management is also necessary for the feed of these animals.

The mad cow virus has a wide range of susceptible hosts, including not only bovidae animals but also wildlife such as house cats, tigers, leopards, and lions. Humans can also be infected. The sources of infection include sheep with scrapie, cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and cattle carrying the virus. Animals primarily become infected through the ingestion of contaminated feed through the digestive system. Currently, there is no evidence of vertical transmission. The prion virus can persist and spread in bodily fluids and excretions, plants, water environments, soil, dust, and wildlife, infecting animals. Generally, the infection is not related to the animal's sex, breed, or genetic factors.