According to a poster presented at the recent IDWeek 2018, on the speed of diagnosis of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) like variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), researchers from Rochester Regional Health present a case series of five that include a relatively recent case of vCJD linked to the consumption of squirrel brains.
Apparently, a 61-year-old man contracted the rare and fatal prion disease due to eating squirrel brains.
First described in 1996 in the United Kingdom, variant CJD is a rare, degenerative, fatal brain disorder in humans. It is believed to be caused by consumption of products from cows with the disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or “mad cow” disease).
Worldwide, more than 220 variant CJD patients have been reported, with a majority of them in the United Kingdom (177 cases) and France (27 cases). Only a handful of cases have been reported in the US.