May 28, 2024

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BSE returns to haunt Brazil's meat exports

BSE returns to haunt Brazil’s meat exports

After two confirmed cases of EBB (bovine spongiform encephalitis), known as “mad cow disease”, in September, in Mato Grosso and Minas Gerais, the disease that also affects humans returned to haunt Brazil on Thursday (11).

The National Institute of Infectious Diseases Evandro Chagas, Fiocruz (Osvaldo Cruz Foundation), in Rio de Janeiro, has reported two suspected cases of the disease. The two patients are a 59-year-old woman (still under investigation) and a 55-year-old man from Duque de Caxias.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, the cases are not related to mad cow disease, as reported by the Rio de Janeiro State Department of Health.

The suspected cases are not related to the consumption of beef or by-products contaminated with bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE)EEB), known as mad cow disease,” the map explains in a statement.

disease screening

Patients are in isolation at Evandro Chagas de Manguinhos, north of Rio de Janeiro. The 55-year-old man from Duque de Caxias developed symptoms in August of this year, and was notified on October 29 by the National Institute of Infectology. The investigation of the case was completed by the municipal surveillance of Duque de Caxias as a sporadic CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) picture, unrelated to BSE. The patient remains hospitalized at the INI.

The 59-year-old had symptoms that began in October this year and were notified on Tuesday (9), after she was transferred to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases on Wednesday. An investigation in this case is underway to find out the causes of the disease and the place of residence.

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The isolation ward that patients enter is the same as for COVID-19 patients. According to Fucruz, family members are being monitored and there is no information about how they were exposed to the infection. CJD is also a fatal disease that attacks the central nervous system. It causes dementia and movement abnormalities resulting from tissue damage in the brain.

According to the Department of Health, between 2005 and 2014, 603 suspected cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which has a variant called vCJD, associated with beef consumption and called mad cow disease, were reported. Since the start of CJD surveillance in Brazil, no cases of CJD have been confirmed in humans.

The impact of mad cow disease on exports

Mad cow disease is a degenerative disease of the brain that has no cure. Humans get sick when they eat contaminated beef, and because of this risk and cases recorded in September in Brazil, China stopped importing Brazilian beef for more than two months.

According to parties linked to the beef sector in the country, the loss is expected to reach $1.8 billion by the end of the year. When contacted, the Chinese Embassy in Brazil did not comment on the suspension of Brazilian beef imports.

Only the Asian country has suspended consumption after the cases recorded in Mato Grosso and Minas Gerais, which is the largest buyer of Brazilian beef, which has already seen a nearly 12% drop in the value of Aruba, currently at R273,$44, according to Cepea (Center for Advanced Studies). in applied economics).

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Exports fell nearly 50% in October, compared to September, according to Abrafrigo, an organization representing slaughterhouses in Brazil, as the federal government sought to prove to the Chinese that the problem was over.

Entities associated with Brazil’s meat production sector, such as Abrafrigo and Abriec (the Brazilian Association of Meat Exporting Industries), have reported that they do not comment on the Chinese ban on Brazilian meat.