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Report: Marin woman dies of ‘mad cow’ disease

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Two Marin residents have recently been diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the exceedingly rare and fatal illness commonly referred to as mad cow disease, and one has died. Dr. Craig Lindquist, Marin County’s interim public health officer, tells the Marin IJ’s Richard Holstead that state health officials notified him of the diagnoses last Friday. State health officials so far are mum. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which burst into the headlines in the 1980s after an outbreak in Great Britain, causes dementia in which victims eventually enter a coma and die. An excerpt:

Craig McAllister of Oakland said he believes his ex-wife, Aline Shaw, 59, of San Rafael, may have died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease on Jan. 27. McAllister said he received second-hand information from a family member that she had died suddenly after contracting an illness, and he called the Marin County public health department for more information. McAllister said a public health nurse told him Shaw had been diagnosed with what is believed to be Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Add: The IJ notes that no similar epidemic of the disease has occurred in the U. S. Also: McAllister and and his wife lived in London from 1989 to 1992. No word yet about the second Marin resident diagnosed with it.


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