One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A fatal disease of the brain occurring in some peoples in New Guinea and thought to be caused by a virus-like agent such as a prion.
- ‘Among humans, the disease kuru, found in the south Pacific, was also shown to be transmissible.’
- ‘First described in 1957, the disease, called kuru, had long caused dementia and death in the natives, but no one had been able to trace its cause.’
- ‘The incidence of kuru has decreased with the reduction of cannibalism, according to researchers who studied natives in New Guinea highlands.’
- ‘Oh, I also forgot, that there's a disease which was prevalent among cannibals in New Guinea, called kuru, which works pretty much the same way as the rest of these.’
- ‘It should be noted, however, that kuru and Mad Cow are both caused by prions, rather than by bacteria or viruses.’
1950s: a local word.
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