South Korean woman died of a human form of mad cow disease

A South Korean woman died of a human form of mad cow disease, becoming the first victim of the degenerative neurological disorder in the country, health authorities and a professor said Tuesday.

The 54-year-old is believed to have been infected during brain transplant surgery some 23 years ago. She was diagnosed with iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (iCJD) after she died in July this year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prof. Kim Yun-joon, a professor for Hallym University.

The woman did not have any symptoms for 20 years but suffered some paralysis in the face in 2010, according to Kim.

CJD is a degenerative and invariably fatal brain disorder that usually affects people over 60 and on average one person in every one million suffers from the disease.

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