Toronto first city to confirm mad cow disease cases

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Toronto Public Health has confirmed the first three cases of Omicron variant, also known as mad cow disease, in the city.

The illness has been officially reported in Toronto only because it can cause other problems such as meningitis, spongiform encephalopathy (commonly called “mad cow disease”) and cancer.

A total of 36 people in Ontario have become ill with Omicron variant since 2016, said Dr. Candice Romanowski, infectious disease program leader for the hospital’s Infectious Disease Center.

Three people remain in hospital with Omicron variant symptoms, two in stable condition and one in good condition, Romanowski said.

At this time, the cause of these three cases is unknown, she said. But since it is common for people who are symptomatic with Omicron variant to not stop eating beef, this is a concern.

“There has been some promotion of buying vegetarian hamburgers,” she said.

The effects of Omicron variant symptoms are similar to those of BSE. However, this particular disorder is treated by anti-inflammatory drugs, she said.

“It’s not an automatic life-threatening disease,” she said. “It does look like a very unpleasant disease and people who develop this may have a common illness.”

Despite that, she said the warning remains the same.

“It is still highly unlikely to spread, but it is still important to be aware of and follow some precautions because it may not be very clear or very obvious as to why people are feeling that way,” she said.

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