USDA reports another possible BSE case

first_imgNov 18, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said today it is running confirmatory tests on a possible new case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease. The first BSE case spurred the USDA to expand its BSE surveillance program starting in June. The new possible case was one of the high-risk animals targeted in the surveillance program, said Andrea Morgan, associate deputy administrator for veterinary services in the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. She spoke at a morning news conference, a transcript of which was published online. In late June the USDA reported inconclusive results on single BSE screening tests on two different cows. Further testing ruled out the disease in both cases, but the initial test results shook the beef industry. As a result, in August the USDA set a policy whereby it will make no announcement until two BSE screening tests on the same animal are inconclusive. Two rapid screening tests on a cow were inconclusive, prompting the USDA to begin confirmatory tests, which will take 4 to 7 days, officials said in a statement. The carcass was kept out of the food and animal feed chains, the agency said. It did not reveal where the cow came from or where it was initially tested. USDA news briefing transcript Morgan said today that after one test was inconclusive, “We allowed the submitting laboratory to rerun the test, and they got yet another indication on the rerun of an inconclusive.” The result was reported early this morning, she said. Morgan said the USDA “remains confident in the safety of the US beef supply.” After the first BSE case was found, the agency banned nonambulatory (“downer”) cattle and high-risk cattle tissues, called specified-risk materials (SRMs), from the human food chain. SRMs include the skull, brain, spinal cord, vertebral column, and certain nerve bundles from cattle older than 30 months, plus the tonsils and small intestine of cattle of all ages. Morgan said the SRM ban would protect the public if another BSE case is confirmed. The USDA says it has tested more than 113,000 cattle since June 1 in its expanded BSE surveillance program. The program mainly targets animals considered to be at increased risk for BSE, including those that can’t walk, die on farms, are injured, or show signs of neurologic disease. Up to 12 labs around the country have been authorized to conduct the rapid BSE screening tests.center_img If the case is confirmed, it would be the nation’s second. The first case, detected last December in a cow in Washington state, prompted dozens of countries to stop importing US beef. The Bush administration recently announced a tentative agreement with Japan on conditions for reopening the Japanese market to American beef. “The inconclusive result does not mean we have found another case of BSE in this country,” Morgan stated. “Inconclusive results are a normal component of screening tests, which are designed to be extremely sensitive so that they will detect any samples that could possibly be positive.” Aug 9 CIDRAP News story on USDA policy on reporting BSE test resultshttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/other/bse/news/august0904bse.html USDA news release on inconclusive test Tissue samples from the cow have been sent to the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, for confirmatory tests, Morgan said. “If the test comes back positive for BSE we will then be providing additional information about the animal and its origin,” she stated. See also:last_img read more

Pompeo says China may have known of virus in November

first_imgUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo charged Thursday that China may have known of the new coronavirus as early as November, renewing accusations that Beijing has not been transparent and again drawing ire from China.”You’ll recall that the first cases of this were known by the Chinese government maybe as early as November, but certainly by mid-December,” Pompeo said in an interview.”They were slow to identify this for anyone in the world, including the World Health Organization,” he told conservative radio host Larry O’Connor. Pompeo said the United States still wanted more information from China including the original sample of the SARS-CoV-2 virus detected in the metropolis of Wuhan.”This issue of transparency is important not only as a historical matter to understand what happened back in November and December and January, but it’s important even today,” Pompeo said.”This is still impacting lots of lives here in the United States and, frankly, around the world.”China hit back on Friday, saying Pompeo’s remarks were “totally groundless and entirely for the purpose of blaming others”. Pompeo’s comments ran “counter to the general consensus of the global community”, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily press briefing, adding that China had “provided timely information to the world” and actively cooperated with others.China initially closely guarded information of the virus and silenced whistleblowers. The first official acknowledgment of what became a global pandemic came on December 31 when authorities in Wuhan reported mysterious cases of pneumonia.Michael Ryan, emergencies director at the World Health Organization, said the UN body first spoke of an event in Wuhan on January 4 via Twitter and provided “detailed information” the following day to all member countries.President Donald Trump’s administration has harshly criticized both China and the WHO, blaming them for not stopping the illness that has killed more than 180,000 people worldwide.Critics say that Trump is seeking to deflect from his own handling of the coronavirus, which he claimed to have “totally under control” in January but has since killed nearly 50,000 people in the United States — more than any other country.Pompeo has previously not ruled out that the virus originated in a virology laboratory in Wuhan and has demanded international access to it.China has dismissed the theory. Its scientists have said that the virus probably was transmitted to humans at a meat market in Wuhan that butchered exotic animals, though Chinese officials have more recently cast doubt about its origins.center_img Topics :last_img read more