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[koo r-oo] /ˈkʊər u/
noun, Pathology.
a fatal degenerative disease of the central nervous system characterized by progressive lack of coordination and dementia, known only among certain Melanesian peoples, especially the Fore of New Guinea, and caused by a slow virus: now virtually extinct.
Origin of kuru
1955-60; < a dialect of Fore, a language of the Eastern Highlands District Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for kuru


a degenerative disease of the nervous system, restricted to certain tribes in New Guinea, marked by loss of muscular control and thought to be caused by a slow virus
Word Origin
C20: from a native name
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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kuru in Medicine

kuru ku·ru (kur'ōō)
A progressive, fatal spongiform encephalopathy, probably caused by a slow-acting virus, that is endemic to certain peoples of New Guinea and may be transmitted through cannibalism.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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kuru in Science
A rare, progressive, degenerative neurological disease found in certain peoples of New Guinea and associated with cannibalism. It is thought to be caused by a prion and results in a fatal encephalopathy. See Note at prion.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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