The article that I found using pubmed discuss all the major forms of the group of disease which Kuru falls into which are called spongiform encephalopathies. The major forms included: Sporadic Cruetzfeldt-Jacob disease (spCJD), fatal familial insomnia (FFI), sporadic fatal insomnia (sFI), familial or genetic CJD (f/g CJD), Iatrogenic CJD (iCJD), Kuru, new variant CJD (vCJD), and variably protease-sensitive. These spongiform encephalopathies use an infectious protein called a prion as the agent for the diseases. Not much is known about these sort of diseases. The article does state that prions appear because something has caused a protein to misfold into a much more stable from. Once they appear prions are so stable destroying them is impossible. Sometimes the damage caused goes unnoticed until much later in life. In the culture-bound syndrome (CBS) Kuru, the spongiform encephalopathy affects mainly children and women.
In the native cultures of Papau New Guinea they believed that in order to show respect to a person who has died the entire tribe much gather for a celebration in which they eat the body of the lost comrade. Men are allowed first pick at the cuts of meat and often select the lean muscle portions of the corpse. This leaves the fatty organs such as the intestines, liver, and nervous tissue for the women and children. Because there was no capability to have a cause of death determined so of the dead bodies could had already been inflicted with Kuru. Since the women were stuck eating the tissue that contained high levels of fat which was where this protein often occurs the women and children had a high risk of getting the disease.
Because this disease is often found in the brain there is not for sure way to test for the illness unless the individual is dead so that an autopsy can be performed. Since the prion protein is view difficult to destroy or remove, currently there is no cure for Kuru except for ending the cycle of cannibalism that started the problem. Presently work is being done around to world to figure out a way to reverse the misfolding of prion proteins, denature the protein or to get rid of it completely.
Article: Overview of Human Prion Diseases