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New York hunters are likely to eat squirrels, researchers reveal

October 19, 2018 Health 4 Views Researchers believe that the death of a New York man infected with an extremely…

Researchers believe that the death of a New York man infected with an extremely rare neurological disease was likely to be caused by eating squirrels.

The unidentified 61-year-old man arrived at a hospital 2015 with symptoms of confused thinking.

A brain scan showed similarities with people suffering from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), a rare degenerative neurological condition where the brain is infected with Proteins called prions that form lesions. There is strong evidence that the agent responsible for outbreak of prion disease in cows, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or “mad cow disease”) is the same agent responsible for vCJD in humans, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The incurable, fatal disease can be transmitted by eating meat from infected cattle.

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& # 39; Caramel & # 39; squirrel

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A squirrel is sitting on the floor after his extremely amputated surgery at Aydin University in Istanbul, Turkey April 3, 2018. REUTERS / Osman Orsal

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel, squirrel who lost his front paws after stuck on a wild animal trap in Batman, carries out his temporary prosthesis for the first time at the Istanbul Aydin University Occupational Health School in Istanbul, Turkey, March 30, 2018. (Photo of Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images )

A squirrel sits on the floor after his extreme amputation surgery at Aydin University in Istanbul, Turkey, April 3, 2018. REUTERS / Osman Orsal

A prosthetic technician tests the wheel on a squirrel after its amputation at the Aydin University in Istanbul, 3 April 2018. REUTERS / Osman Orsal [19659012] A protes cs technician test wheels on squirrels after his amputation at Aydin University in Istanbul, Turkey on April 3, 2 018. REUTERS / Osman Orsal

A protest technician tests wheels on a squirrel after his amputation at Aydin University in Istanbul, Turkey April 3, 2018. REUTERS / Osman Orsal

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel squirrel lost his front paws after stuck on a wild animal trap in Batman, wearing his first protest for the first time at Istanbul Aydin University Vocational College in Istanbul, Turkey, March 30, 2018. (Photo by Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images) [19659014] ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel, the squirrel who lost his front paws after stuck on a wild animal trap in Batman, carries his first protest for the first time at Istanbul Aydin University Professional School of Health Services in Istanbul, Turkey March 30, 2018 . (Photo of Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Gett y Pictures)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel, the squirrel who lost his front paws after stuck on to a wild animal trap in Batman, wears its first protest for the first time at Istanbul Aydin University Professional School of Health Services in Istanbul, Turkey March 30, 2018. (Photo of Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel, the squirrel who lost his front paws after stuck on a wild animal trap in Batman, wears his temporary denture for the first time at Istanbul Aydin University Professional School of Health Services in Istanbul, Turkey, March 30, 2018. (Photo by Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel, the squirrel who lost his front paws after stuck on a wild animal trap in Batman, wears his first protest for the first time at Istanbul Aydin University Professional School of Health Services in Istanbul, Turkey, March 30, 2018. (Photo of Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel, the squirrel who lost his front paws after stuck on a wild animal trap in Batman, carries his first protest for the first time in Istanbul Aydin University Vocational College in Istanbul, Turkey March 30, 2018. (Photo of Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel, the squirrel who lost his front paws after stuck on a wild animal trap in Batman, see the Istanbul Aydin University Professional School of Health Services in Istanbul, Turkey, March 30, 2018. (Photo of Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel, the squirrel who lost his front paws after stuck on a wild animal trap in Batman, wearing his first protest for the first time at Istanbul Aydin University Professional School of Health Services in Istanbul, Turkey March 30, 201 8. (Photo of Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel squirrel who lost his front paws after stuck on a wild animal trap in Batman carries his first protest for the first time in Istanbul Aydin University College for Health Services in Istanbul, Turkey, March 30, 2018. (Photo of Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel, the squirrel who lost his front paws after he got stuck on a wild animal trap in Batman, wearing his first protest for the first time at Istanbul Aydin University Professional School of Health Services in Istanbul, Turkey, March 30, 2018. (Photo of Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images) [19659024] ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel, the squirrel who lost its front paws after stuck on a wild animal trap in Batman, will be seen March 30, 2018 at Istanbul’s Aydin University Vocational School of H ealth Services in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo of Emrah Yorulma z / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel squirrel who lost his front paws after stuck on a wild animal trap in Batman, wearing his first prosthesis for the first time in Istanbul Aydin University College for Health Care in Istanbul, Turkey March 30, 2018. (Photo of Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel, the squirrel who lost his front paws after he got stuck a wild animal trap in Batman, carries its first protest for the first time at Istanbul Aydin University Professional School of Health Services in Istanbul, Turkey, March 30, 2018. (Photo of Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images) [19659027] ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel, the squirrel who lost his front paws after stuck on a wild animal trap in Batman, wears his first protest for the first time at Istanbul Aydin University, Vocational School o f Health Services in Istanbul, Turkey on Marc h 30, 2018. (Photo of Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel, the squirrel who lost his front paws after stuck on a wild animal trap in Batman, carries its temporary prosthesis for the first time at Istanbul Aydin University College of Economics in Istanbul, Turkey, March 30, 2018. (Photo of Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel squirrel who lost his front paws after stuck on a wild animal trap in Batman, carries his first protest for the first time at the Istanbul Aydin University Professional School of Health Services in Istanbul, Turkey, March 30, 2018. (Photo of Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel, the squirrel who lost his front paws after stuck on a wild animal trap in Batman, wears his first denture for the first time on Istanbul Aydin University Vocational College S Ervices in Istanbul, Turkey March 30, 2018. (Photo of Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel, the squirrel who lost his front paws after stuck on A wild animal fall in Batman, seen at Istanbul Aydin University College of Economics in Istanbul, Turkey March 30, 2018. (Photo by Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

A prosthetic technician tests wheels on a squirrel after its member amputation surgery at Aydin University of Istanbul, Turkey April 3, 2018. REUTERS / Osman Orsal

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel, the squirrel who lost his front paws after stuck on a wild animal trap in Batman, wears his temporary prosthesis for the first time at Istanbul Aydin University, Vocational School of Health Services in Istanbul, Turkey March 30, 2018. (Photo of Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – March 30: Caramel, the squirrel who lost his front pa ws after stuck on a wild animal trap in Batman, carries his first protest for the first time at Istanbul Aydin University Professional School of Health Services in Istanbul, Turkey, March 30, 2018. ( Photo of Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Pictures)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MARCH 30: Caramel, the squirrel who lost its front paws after stuck on a wild animal trap in Batman, carries its first protest for the first time in Istanbul Aydin University Professional School of Health Services in Istanbul, Turkey March 30, 2018. (Photo of Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

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As for New York, he chased and was Known for eating squirrels or at least squirrel meat likely to be contaminated by brain materials, Dr. Tara Chen of Rochester Regional Health and leading writer a research report on the case presented early in the month at a contagious disease conference in San Francisco. “Intake of squirrels” was listed in the report as a potential risk factor.

The man died five months after being diagnosed with vCJD. Researchers are seeking permission to test their brain tissue to determine what form of vCJD he contracted, reported Science Alert.

Squirrels, often mixed with other squirrel meat, are considered a delicacy in some regions of the United States, noted the 1997 Lancet study, which increased the possibility of a link to the disease.

So far, about 260 cases of vCJD worldwide have been linked to consuming beef, none of them in the United States, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Most cases have occurred in the UK

In addition to BSE, other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies have been found in animals including minkephalopathy, feline encephalopathy and scrapie, which affects sheep and goats. Chronic effervescent disease affects moose and deer.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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