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Published July 21, 2010, 04:58 PM

Italy reports human case of mad cow disease

ROME — A woman in northern Italy has been reported as being infected with mad cow disease and has been hospitalized in serious condition.

ROME — A woman in northern Italy has been reported as being infected with mad cow disease and has been hospitalized in serious condition.

It was only the second case of the human version of the brain-wasting illness, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, ever reported in Italy. The first case was reported in 2002 in a woman in Sicily.

The Health Ministry said Wednesday the latest case had been diagnosed in October 2009.

Italian news reports said the 42-year-old woman was hospitalized in Livorno.

Officials said the case probably dates to the 1990s. Experts believe the human form of the illness is transmitted by eating meat from infected animals.

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