Kuru Disease: A Deadly Legacy and Its Decline – Learn More Here

2023-09-17 19:16:25

First discovered in the 1950s, Kuru disease killed many members of tribes in Papua New Guinea.

Unfortunately there are many around the world Diseases, which affect millions of people every day. While the mortality rate for most of the deadliest diseases has decreased over the years thanks to advances in medicine and public health, there are still many that occur on a large scale.

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Kuru disease

In fact, the mortality rate for one of the world’s deadliest diseases is nearly 100 percent – something that no longer occurs today. The Kuru disease First discovered in the 1950s among members of the so-called Fore tribe in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, it is caused by an infectious protein (prion) found in contaminated human brain tissue. Prions are special proteins that occur naturally in cells of the nervous system (especially the brain and spinal cord) and the immune system (lymph nodes and spleen). The malformed prions (PrPSc) have a special property: They can convert normal prions (PrPC) into disease-causing prions and thereby damage the brain tissue.

According to Medline Plus “was [Kuru] found in people from New Guinea who practiced a form of cannibalism in which they… Brains of dead people as part of a burial ritual.” The disease reached its peak in the 1950s, when the mortality rate in affected villages rose to as high as 35 per 1,000 inhabitants. It was found that children and women were more affected than men – what possibly due to the women and children eating the tribe’s brains while the men ate the muscle meat.

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Incubation period up to 50 years

The incubation period of the disease is very long and can last from a few years to decades. Typically it is between 10 and 13 years, but cases with an incubation period of 50 years or even longer have been reported in the past. But once symptoms appear, the affected person usually only survives for one to two years before tragically dying. The disease is manifested by plaques in the cerebellum, which controls the coordination and fine-tuning of movement sequences.

The word Which one comes from the language of the local population and means “muscular tremor”, which is also one of the most common symptoms. It also includes arm and leg pain, difficulty walking, headaches, paralysis and difficulty swallowing.

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A Kuru-infected boy, assisted in walking.pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22249461/No cases since 2010

While the practice of brain eating ceased in the 1960s, kuru cases continued to occur for many years thereafter. No deaths have been reported since 2010, and there is scant information about who the last person to die from it was. Some sources say this was in 2005, while other sources claim it was 2009. Today the disease is almost non-existent.

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