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Mad Cow Disease Kills Mom, Son in Spain

MADRID, Spain (Sept. 25) -- The mother of a Spanish man who died from the human form of mad cow disease has also died from the illness, Spain's Ministry of Health says. Spain has taken steps to avoid mad cow disease, and there is no danger from eating meat, officials said. It is believed to be the first case in the world where two members of the same family have died from mad cow disease, said Juan Jose Badiola, director of Spain's national research center for mad cow disease. "It's noteworthy that there's a double case in the same family," Badiola said. Until now, Badiola added, clinical evidence that he's seen from the United Kingdom and France -- which have had the most deaths due to the human form of mad cow disease -- had not recorded two cases in a single family. The mother, in her early 60s, died last month. The government confirmed Wednesday that it was because of mad cow disease but did not, by custom, make her name public. Her son, 41, died in February from the same disease, Badiola said. The latest confirmed case makes a total of four deaths in Spain from mad cow disease since 2005. Three of these cases in Spain were in the same northern province, Leon, which is another unusual aspect that will be studied, Badiola said.

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