New York man died after eating squirrel brains

Man dies of rare disease after eating squirrel brains

He also could no longer walk.

The 61 year-old man's unusual death was highlighted in a recent medical report which explained how eating the rodent offal caused tiny holes in the victim's brain.

It's thought that the man had contracted a form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), which affects a scant 1 in one million people per year across the world.

Only a few hundred cases of vCJD have ever been reported, majority in the United Kingdom; just four cases have ever been confirmed in the US.

"'All of them were squirrel-brain eaters, " a doctor told the paper at the time.

She came across the 2015 case while compiling a report on cases of the disease observed at her hospital over a five-year-period, which she presented on October 4 at IDWeek - an annual meeting of infectious diseases professionals.

Around one in a million people around the world have been infected with CJD, with just 350 cases occurring in the USA every year.

There is no treatment or cure for CJD.

The infection is always fatal, and most who get the disease live around a year.


In this case, eating contaminated cow meat wasn't the issue - another animal was to blame.

The sporadic type is the most common, responsible for 85 percent of cases, according to the NIH.

Doctors at Rochester Regional Health, who wrote the report, noted they were shocked when four of the exceptionally rare suspected cases of CJD were presented between November 2017 and April 2018. This high number prompted Chen and colleagues to conduct a review of suspected CJD cases at the hospital from 2013 to 2018.

There have only been around 200 documented cases of vCJD worldwide, with the majority occurring in the UK.

The team is now working to obtain the patient's medical records to see if a coroner confirmed CJD upon his death.

The authors note that CJD is only confirmed by testing the brain tissue during an autopsy.

Only four people have ever confirmed to have the disease in the USA, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Diagnosis may be delayed, in part, because CJD is rare and is not "on the tip of the physician's mind" when assessing a patient, Hanna told Live Science.

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