PORTSMOUTH, Va. -- A 22-year-old Portsmouth woman is close to dying, and family says doctors believe the human equivalent of Mad Cow Disease could be the reason.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease , or CJD, is so rare that there has only been one other possible case ever in the United States.
The Portsmouth Health Department is looking into the case because the variant form of the disease comes from eating infected meat, and Aretha Vincent's family says she's never left the United States.
Robin Vincent told us her daughter, Aretha, became very ill with dizziness and vomiting that led to blurry vision. Then, she could barely stand.
"Oh, God, it was like she put all she could put into trying to walk," said Aretha's mother.
Mrs. Vincent took pictures of her daughter being led to the hospital, where she says doctors diagnosed her with variant CJD.
The disease, known for its horrid affect on animals, can be passed onto humans, but it is rare.
"Aretha has always lived in Virginia," said Mrs. Vincent. "She has not traveled overseas. She's not even been to the Midwest."