Just wanted to report that my sister is a school teacher outside of chicago, IL. A fellow teacher just lost her dad to mad cow disease. Her parents went on a cruise to Europe(not sure which specific areas) when they returned, her father fell ill with what seemed like a bad flu at first, but died shortly afterward. The autopsy showed mad cow. Now they are closely watching her mother for any symptoms..not that there is anything that can be done. It was very depressing news.
Also, my mom's uncle died several yrs ago from a disease that oddly was called "similar to mad cow" by the hospital, but they would never admitt it was mad cow...His family is sure that it was. He lived on burgers from fast food.