Mad Cow madness grips media

Media coverage of healthcare over the weekend was dominated by reports that a second case of Mad Cow disease has been confirmed. The development led government officials to announce they will adopt the supposedly more accurate Western blot test and overhaul. Taiwan and several other Asian countries announced they will block imports of US beef. Embarrassingly for authorities, news reports indicated that the Agriculture Department knew of the positive test result seven months ago but did not disclose the news because lab personnel "forgot" to inform superiors.

It is probably too early to determine exactly what the public health risks involved actually are, but doctors know full well what the likely impact will be after four days of sensationalistic TV news coverage: a wave of nervous patients convinced they have Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy.

- see this story from the Associated Press