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Almost all cases of CJD are unpreventable, and there’s almost no way to reduce your risk of developing this condition. The one exception to this is variant CJD, which you can get from eating beef from a cow that had bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

Animal inspections help keep cattle with BSE out of the food supply in developed countries. However, animals that weren’t inspected or processed in a regulated facility could still pose a risk. Because of that, you should be very cautious about eating meat in developing areas or countries. In general, you should avoid meat from unregulated sources, especially brain tissue, bone marrow or products that contain either.

Animals that can carry other prion diseases

While there’s no evidence that scrapie or CWD can cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, experts still recommend careful handling of both domestic animals and wild animals hunted for food because of the risk of a mutation that could allow a prion-caused condition to affect humans.

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