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Mad Squirrel Disease

Mans dies from brain disease

OutdoorHub Reporters
3 days ago

Again, this sounds like the making of a scary Halloween movie, but it’s just another bizarre story that couldn’t have surfaced at a more appropriate time. . . A recently-uncovered medical case from 2015 may show that a man died after contracting a rare brain disease from eating squirrel brains. This would be the first instance in which the disorder was ever contracted in the United States.

The extremely rare brain disease – known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease – is caused by misfolding brain proteins called prions. When these proteins start to misfold, they cause a sort-of domino effect causing other nearby prions in the brain to misfold as well. This results in severe memory loss, dementia, psychosis, loss of coordination, and eventually death.

These zombie-like prions can also withstand radiation and chemicals such as formaldehyde!

The disease is contagious, however it’s a lot more complicated than contracting a cold from your sneezing co-worker. See, the prions cannot be spread through mucus or saliva, rather the most common way to get CJD from somebody else. . . is to eat them.

Obviously, CJD isn’t a common disease like the flu.

The last major epidemic involving the disease was recorded back in the 1950s when a remote tribe – the Fore people of Papua New Guinea – practiced a form of ritualistic cannibalism. Separately, an even rarer form of CJD, called ‘variant CJD,’ plagued the U.K. back in the 80s and 90s when people were unknowingly eating beef from cows who were infected with the bovine strain, more commonly known as mad cow disease.

The case from 2015 shows a 61-year-old man from Rochester, New York was admitted into a hospital after suffering chronic memory loss, deteriorating mental faculties, and muscle problems: all of which are symptoms of vCJD. Once the man’s brain scan results came back, researchers’ suspicions were confirmed, as the MRI results looked a lot like the other victims of vCJD.

So the question quickly became: How the heck did this man contract a rare disease such as vCJD in the first place?

The answer apparently revealed itself in his hunting habits. The man apparently loved squirrel hunting, and according to the report has ate squirrel brains at least once before. Therein lies the answer. At least potentially, as it’s possible the man ate the brain of at least one squirrel with a prion disease, leaving him infected. Of course, no one ate that man’s brains, so there’s no risk of him spreading the disease further.

However, this means that hunters – namely squirrel connoisseurs – could possibly be more at risk for CJD than previously believed.

I know, pretty dreary news. But on the bright side, you can avoid CJD by just not eating squirrel brains.
~~~~~~~~~~~

Is this from eating raw brain tissue?


~Ann



 
Posts: 16491 | Location: The LOST Nation | Registered: 27 March 2001Reply With Quote
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Cooking does not kill this stuff. If the brain or spinel cord is contaminated, you eat it, you will probably get it. I have heard of this from squirrel brains before.
 
Posts: 512 | Location: South Central Texas | Registered: 29 August 2014Reply With Quote
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Mad Squirrel Disease. Hmmm... I wonder, did my first wife eat squirrel brains?




.
 
Posts: 10723 | Location: North of the Columbia | Registered: 28 April 2008Reply With Quote
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That's weird that cooking would not kill this stuff.


~Ann



 
Posts: 16491 | Location: The LOST Nation | Registered: 27 March 2001Reply With Quote
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Prions are not alive. They are misshapen protein molecules that somehow create more of the same. They are not good for you at all.
C.G.B.
 
Posts: 985 | Registered: 25 January 2005Reply With Quote
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Picture of Aspen Hill Adventures
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Thank you. That helps me understand the problem somewhat. Strange for sure. This raises another question though, how would wild animals like squirrels, sheep, etc get this disease? I don't picture them eating the brains of infected animals.


~Ann



 
Posts: 16491 | Location: The LOST Nation | Registered: 27 March 2001Reply With Quote
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I always heard that where Fox and Grey squirrels cross habitat they will eat each others babies. Sheep is just a sheep to sheep thing. Cows get it from contaminated renderings that are feed to live cows as food.
 
Posts: 512 | Location: South Central Texas | Registered: 29 August 2014Reply With Quote
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Squirrel brains (and chicken brains) were considered the most tasty part of the animals back in the early 1900s.

My dad used to tell us about the kids fighting to get those parts.

CKJD became a big news item with "mad cow" disease in Britain years ago.

Now it has spread to deer and other animals in the USA "chronic wasting" disease.

Apparently there is no known method of destroying the prion (at least according to info I read a few years ago).

Hell of a way to die IMO.

BH63


Hunting buff is better than sex!
 
Posts: 2205 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With Quote
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There was a report of a cluster of CJD in a 2-county area in Alabama some years back. Investigation revealed that the victims were members of 1 or 2 (can't remember which) extended families that were avid squirrel hunters. They routinely ate the brains, hence the relatively high occurrence of this (thankfully rare) disease there.

My Dad was born in 1921 and in summers, worked on a race-horse farm in KY that was owned by a family friend. Days were long, pay was $1 for q full (!) day's work, but good food was a perk of the job. Starting before sunup, they would all gather in the kitchen for a big, delicious breakfast. Brains from various farm animals slaughtered for meat were frequently on the menu, and he described them as delicious. No fear or knowledge of CJD back then!

Another perennial favorite was "Rocky Mountain Oysters" -- the testicles of various farm animals that were removed as part of raising food critters.

Times were different back then!
John
 
Posts: 126 | Location: Right here, for now! | Registered: 03 November 2015Reply With Quote
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Thats not the first case. A friend of mines father passed away from it 10 to 15 years ago. He was in his early 60s.
 
Posts: 504 | Location: Michigan, US | Registered: 10 April 2007Reply With Quote
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Eating brains? what is wrong with people.
 
Posts: 3648 | Location: The way life should be | Registered: 24 May 2012Reply With Quote
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My granddaddy was from the Okefenokee swamp and I loved him totally...when I was a kid he used to tell me about eating all kinds of filthy critters...squirrel, 'possum, raccoon, 'gator, snake, rat...including things from the ocean/swamp waters that I only use for bait....everything including the squeal if they could catch it. I wouldn't eat anything he cooked when I stayed with him...he thought rabbit would swell up in his throat and choke him (wouldn't meat ANY white meat mom cooked)...I thought he was trying to feed me rodent....ham'n'eggs for breakfast and store bought food for dinner...it worked out fine.

What you eat is culturally biased...some folks think eating a hamburger is worse than gross and crickets/insects are tasty.

I have a VERY BIASED view on such things and DON'T APOLOGIZE....you deserve whatever you catch eating garbage...nature is that way. I can't understand why there are so many street people still around...but nature ALSO took care of that..."clean folks" are having immune system medical problems caused by the LACK of beneficial bacteria while those "dirty folks" have a very robust immune system...maybe that's why the street people are surviving and will continue too. shocker

Good Hunting tu2 beer
 
Posts: 1211 | Registered: 25 January 2014Reply With Quote
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Sounds exactly like the Chronic Wasting disease, deer are suffering from, interesting development.

Grizz


Indeed, no human being has yet lived under conditions which, considering the prevailing climates of the past, can be regarded as normal. John E Pfeiffer, The Emergence of Man

Those who can't skin, can hold a leg. Abraham Lincoln

Only one war at a time. Abe Again.
 
Posts: 4211 | Location: Alta. Canada | Registered: 06 November 2002Reply With Quote
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Im safe, a Squirrel is too much like a rat for me to eat..never have and never will..I have eaten a couple of road runners back in the day, a Mt. Lion, a bobcat, all Ok but not my choice.


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 38258 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Growing up I killed and ate a lot of squirrels. In Kentucky we have two species; the Fox squirrel and the grey squirrel.

A young squirrel is good for frying, but the older, tougher squirrels wind up in squirrel and dumplings.

Pretty good eating either way.

Although we sometimes had pork brains cooked with scrambled eggs, I never had (or wanted) squirrel brains or chicken brains.

I once had stir-fried monitor lizard in SEA. Not bad, mainly because of all the seasonings.

BH63


Hunting buff is better than sex!
 
Posts: 2205 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With Quote
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Kinda sounds like Granny Clampett's menu.


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 15244 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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^
rotflmo

Close, but they liked possum stew, and roadkill.

We only ate, fresh-killed critters.

Interestingly enough, people who turn up their noses at squirrel, put on airs, when it comes to eating sushi.

How can eating raw fish, be superior to eating cooked squirrel?

Not to mention the fad of eating bugs. Ugh!

BH63


Hunting buff is better than sex!
 
Posts: 2205 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With Quote
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This disease apparently affects women more than men.

4 perfect examples are in the public eyes in America.

HILARY Clinton
AOC
Camala
Nancy!

No known cure! clap


www.accuratereloading.com
Instagram : ganyana2000
 
Posts: 57454 | Location: Dubai, UAE | Registered: 08 January 1998Reply With Quote
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When I heard people actually eat squirrels I almost choked on my egg sandwich ! Roll Eyes

Hip
 
Posts: 634 | Location: Long Island, New York | Registered: 04 January 2008Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Saeed:
This disease apparently affects women more than men.

4 perfect examples are in the public eyes in America.

HILARY Clinton
AOC
Camala
Nancy!

No known cure! clap


clap


Hunting buff is better than sex!
 
Posts: 2205 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With Quote
Administrator
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Posts: 57454 | Location: Dubai, UAE | Registered: 08 January 1998Reply With Quote
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Saeed, your 4 candidates are all pretty squirrelly, aren't they?


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 15244 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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This is a little late. People were warned over 20 years ago.
https://www.nytimes.com/1997/0...quirrels-brains.html
 
Posts: 946 | Registered: 02 April 2008Reply With Quote
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quote:


Well he got his 15 minutes of fame.
Hope it was worth it.

BH63


Hunting buff is better than sex!
 
Posts: 2205 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by cgbach:
Prions are not alive. They are misshapen protein molecules that somehow create more of the same. They are not good for you at all.
C.G.B.


Basically the same as Mad Cow disease or CWD in Cervids. A lot of mystery there.

Grizz


When the horse has been eliminated, human life may be extended an average of five or more years.
James R. Doolitle

I think they've been misunderstood. Timothy Tredwell
 
Posts: 816 | Location: Central Alberta, Canada | Registered: 20 July 2019Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Hipshoot:
When I heard people actually eat squirrels I almost choked on my egg sandwich ! Roll Eyes

Hip


Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
Eggs....... which fell out of a chicken's ass!!!


NO COMPROMISE !!!

"YOU MUST NEVER BE AFRAID TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT! EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO DO IT ALONE!"
 
Posts: 683 | Location: L A | Registered: 23 July 2002Reply With Quote
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I had sheep brains in France and they were really good, but the french can cook anything and make it taste good. Another thing is that they were very small.
 
Posts: 278 | Registered: 25 November 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by IOWADON:
I had sheep brains in France and they were really good, but the french can cook anything and make it taste good. Another thing is that they were very small.


I never knew a sheep that was very smart !

Hip
 
Posts: 634 | Location: Long Island, New York | Registered: 04 January 2008Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Hipshoot:
When I heard people actually eat squirrels I almost choked on my egg sandwich ! Roll Eyes

Hip


To me, a squirrel is a rat that lives in a tree. They are disgusting.... I shoot them with a pellet gun and toss them... Same with pigs....
 
Posts: 9278 | Location: Texas... time to secede!! | Registered: 12 February 2004Reply With Quote
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What is the brain disease that is found in Deer in the US?

Brain is a delicacy in many cultures.


"When the wind stops....start rowing. When the wind starts, get the sail up quick."
 
Posts: 10838 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 02 July 2008Reply With Quote
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Picture of packrattusnongratus
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CWD or Chronic Wasting Disease. Just look what it did to those American Women Saeed mentioned! Be Well, Packy.
 
Posts: 2074 | Registered: 28 May 2002Reply With Quote
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I think that is what Biden caught !

Hip
 
Posts: 634 | Location: Long Island, New York | Registered: 04 January 2008Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by NONAGONAGIN:
My granddaddy was from the Okefenokee swamp and I loved him totally...when I was a kid he used to tell me about eating all kinds of filthy critters...squirrel, 'possum, raccoon, 'gator, snake, rat...including things from the ocean/swamp waters that I only use for bait....everything including the squeal if they could catch it. I wouldn't eat anything he cooked when I stayed with him...he thought rabbit would swell up in his throat and choke him (wouldn't meat ANY white meat mom cooked)...I thought he was trying to feed me rodent....ham'n'eggs for breakfast and store bought food for dinner...it worked out fine.

What you eat is culturally biased...some folks think eating a hamburger is worse than gross and crickets/insects are tasty.

I have a VERY BIASED view on such things and DON'T APOLOGIZE....you deserve whatever you catch eating garbage...nature is that way. I can't understand why there are so many street people still around...but nature ALSO took care of that..."clean folks" are having immune system medical problems caused by the LACK of beneficial bacteria while those "dirty folks" have a very robust immune system...maybe that's why the street people are surviving and will continue too. shocker

Good Hunting tu2 beer


Had the pleasure of canoeing the Okefenokee swamp twice back in the 80's. Five day trip across the swamp in January. The old growth Cypress forrest was amazing. Had a prehistoric feel. Ranger told us as we put our canoe in the water we would be the only two people in the whole swamp. It was just below freezing a couple mornings with a thin crust of ice on the water.

As far as eating insects.......how about some Mopani Worm Larve? Big Grin





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Posts: 7217 | Location: Alaska | Registered: 05 February 2008Reply With Quote
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Good reason not to eat any brains.


****************
NRA Life Benefactor Member
 
Posts: 3294 | Location: USA | Registered: 15 November 2001Reply With Quote
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I hunt squirrels with a .22rf.

I head shoot them never having to worry about eating there brains.
 
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