Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), more commonly referred to as “mad cow disease,” is a fatal neurodegenerative disease. BSE affects only cattle.
Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) is a degenerative neurological disorder (brain disease) thought to be the human manifestation of BSE. vCJD is ultimately fatal. It is very rare, affecting only one in one million.
Photo by: Stephen Kirkpatrick, courtesy of USDA