- PARIS (Reuters) - A fourth
potential victim of new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), the human
form of ``mad cow'' disease, has been identified in France, according to
a government Web site.
- The French National Institute of Health, which updates
the number of identified cases of the disease each month, said on its Web
site www.invs.sante.fr) "To date, four certain or probable cases of
the vCJD have been identified in France.''
- Until now, three French people have died as a result
of the fatal condition, which is caused by infected beef and has so far
- The identity of the fourth person, who is alive and according
to media reports aged 35, was not revealed.
- Only post-mortem tests can determine with absolute certainty
that a patient is suffering from the deadly human form of bovine spongiform
encephalopathy (BSE), although biopsies on living people are viewed as
- Those who contract vCJD suffer loss of coordination,
confusion and personality changes. More than 100 people have died from
the disease since the mid-1990s, most of them in Britain.
- A leading scientist in Britain estimated this past week
that cases had increased by 20 percent in the country last year.
- A report published by the French Senate earlier this
year said France can expect up to 300 cases of vCJD in the next 60 years.