Rare Medical News

5 Facts you should know about

Kuru

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1

Kuru belongs to a class of infectious diseases

called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), also known as prion diseases.

2

Kuru is a rare and fatal brain disorder

that occurred at epidemic levels during the 1950s-60s among the Fore people in the highlands of New Guinea.

3

The disease was the result of the practice of ritualistic cannibalism among the Fore,

in which relatives prepared and consumed the tissues (including brain) of deceased family members.

4

Brain tissue from individuals with kuru was highly infectious,

and the disease was transmitted either through eating or by contact with open sores or wounds.

5

Government discouragement of the practice of cannibalism led to a continuing decline

in the disease, which has now mostly disappeared.

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