No human mad cow case in Texas panhandle: officials

CHICAGO (Reuters) - There has been no human case of mad cow disease in the Texas panhandle area in the past month, the Texas Department of State Health Services said on Wednesday in response to rumors in Chicago markets of a woman patient there with the disease.

Cattle futures plummeted at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange amid a variety of mad cow-related rumors, one of which was that a woman was being treated for the disease in an Amarillo hospital.

“We do not have any confirmed cases of CJD or variant CJD in that area in the last month,” a health department spokesman said referring to the Panhandle area of Texas.

Mad cow is a fatal brain disease in cattle and it is believed humans can contract a fatal variation of it by eating infected parts of animals with the disease.

The United States has had three cases of mad cow disease in cattle.

(Reporting by Bob Burgdorfer; Editing by Christian Wiessner)

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