March 18, 2002 The Associated PressSince the European Union made tests for mad cow mandatory in Jan. 2000, Italy has found 59 cases of the disease in animals, the country's Health Ministry said Monday. To date tests have been carried out on over 638,200 animals, the ministry said. [Meanwhile, the US has done less than 20,000 tests over the last decade--BSE coordinator]
In February Italy reported its first case of the human form of the brain-wasting illness.
The human form of the disease, called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, was detected in a young woman living in Sicily. Experts believe the illness is transmitted by eating meat from infected animals.