Mad Cow Variant May Have Claimed Life of Virginia Woman, 22

A 22-year-old Virginia woman suspected of having the human variant of mad cow disease died at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, The Virginian-Pilot reports.

Doctors suspect Aretha Vinson contracted Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease shortly after she had gastric bypass surgery three months ago. The disease, which affects roughly one-in-a-million people, is a degenerative and fatal brain disorder linked to tainted medical instruments and certain medical procedures, as well as to contaminated beef.

Vinson’s health began to deteriorate just after she had the surgery. The Portsmouth, Va., resident's motor skills and memory had faded and she became unconscious and died at the Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center.

There is no treatment or cure for the disease.

Click here to read the full story from The Virginian-Pilot.