Florida Woman Dies From Mad Cow Disease

A Florida woman believed to have contracted mad cow disease (search) several years ago in England has died -- the first such death in the United States, health officials said Monday.

Charlene Singh, 25, was diagnosed two years ago with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (search), the human form of the brain-wasting illness known as mad cow disease.

No deaths related to the disease have been previously reported in the United States, said Llelwyn Grant, spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (search).

No Americans are known to have contracted the disease in this country, although one case of disease has been reported in a cow.

Singh's father, Patrick Singh, and his ex-wife, Alison, believe their daughter ate contaminated beef sometime before 1992 in England, where the family formerly lived.

The disease has killed more than 140 people in Great Britain and at least 10 others in other parts of the world. Almost all of the cases originated during an outbreak in the United Kingdom in the 1980s and '90s, the CDC says.