A recent study, published in the “Emerging Infectious Diseases” journal, done by an international team of researchers made of veterinarians and food safety scientists, has confirmed a fatal and degenerative disease in the camels in Algeria.
The paper says that the disease is caused by a prion similar to the one that causes the “mad cow disease” or bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle. They still cannot say with certainty what is the source of the infection, but one theory is that the origin of the disease is exported infected cattle.
The call for panic comes from the fact that camels are a major source of milk and meat for the people in Africa and the Middle East. Camel burgers, camel sausages, and camel stews are the main part of the menu in middle eastern countries.
The lab tests have confirmed the Camel Prion Disease and suggest that the disease is present in 3.1% of the camel population that comes for slaughter.
There is yet no evidence that the disease can be passed from the sick animal to humans, but the research is ongoing.
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