AR-News: (UK) thousands may unknowingky have vCJD

cathy goeggel selkie at
Mon May 24 10:21:39 EDT 2004

     Thousands in U.K. may unknowingly have vCJD

            by Eric Hanson on 5/24/04 for

            Thousands more people in Britain could be infected with variant
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human variation of bovine spongiform
encephalopathy, according to a government-funded research study.

            Scientists who examined 12,674 stored appendix and tonsil
samples said they had found three that showed signs of the agent that causes
the disease.

            Extrapolating to the entire 60 million population of the United
Kingdom, they estimated about 3,800 people would test positive for the
illness, a much larger number than the 141 people known to have died from
the disease.

            Scientists who took part in the study say it's possible that
people are infected but don't produce symptoms, making them a potential
source of infection.

            The disease is thought to transfer to humans who eat meat
containing certain specified risk materials in the animal that are infected
with BSE. In 1986, Great Britain had a large breakout of BSE, which is
believed to be caused by cattle eating feed containing meat and bone meal
from bovine carcasses.

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