Apocalypse cow. (Updates).
Despite widespread concern about the epidemic of mad cow disease that began in Great Britain (see "It Could Happen Here," feature, July/August 2001), this virulent killer has continued to spread internationally. Japan and Israel, the two non-European countries to report cases of mad cow disease in native cattle, identify contaminated feed as the likely route of infection. Japan has reported three cases since September 2001. Following last June's confirmation of Israel's first case of mad cow disease--affecting a 10-year-old Holstein in the Golan Heights--an Israeli Agriculture Ministry statement estimated the possibility of the disease spreading to be "two or three per million." There have been no reported traces of mad cow disease in the United States, but the discovery in suburban Colorado last June of a mule deer with chronic wasting disease (CWD), a mad cow relative, shows that affliction to be moving closer and closer to large human settlements. CONTACT: United States Department of Agriculture, (301)734-7799, www.aphis.usda. gov/oa/bse.