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The World in Medicine
June 11, 2003

BSE Surfaces in Canada

JAMA. 2003;289(22):2929. doi:10.1001/jama.289.22.2929-a

A cow in the Canadian province of Alberta was diagnosed last month with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, arousing concerns about the potential spread of the disease in North America. The only previous case of BSE in Canada occurred in 1993 in a bull imported from the United Kingdom; the disease has never been detected in US cattle.

The infected animal may have been born in Saskatchewan, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. If this proves to be the case, it would be the first occurrence of a North American–born animal contracting BSE.