1st Japanese Case of Human
Variant Of Mad Cow Disease

From Patricia Doyle, PhD
First comes BSE, then nvCJD. Japan's nvCJD case was no surprise after finding BSE in cattle over the past few years. I am sure that there are more cases to be reported in the near future.
Date: Fri 4 Feb 2005
From: Akira Goto
Source: Kyodo News on the web, Fri 4 Feb 2005
Japan: 1st Japanese Case of Human Variant of Mad Cow Disease
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare stated on Fri 4 Feb 2004 that it has confirmed Japan's first case of the human variant of mad cow disease [variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease - abbreviated as CJD (new var.) or vCJD in ProMED-mail]. The patient, who is already dead, was in Britain for about a month around 1990, the Ministry stated. About 150 people have died due to the disease in Britain.
[2] Date: Fri 4 Feb 2005 From: ProMED-mail Source: Reuters report, Fri 4 Feb 2005
Japan - 1st Death From Human Mad Cow Disease
By George Nishiyama and Isabel Reynolds 2-4-5
(Reuters) -- Japan confirmed on Fri 4 Feb 2005 its 1st case of the human variant of mad cow disease [variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease(vCJD)], a fatal brain disease thought to be contracted by eating infected beef. The Health Ministry said that a Japanese man had died last December [2004] from vCJD, adding that he probably contracted the fatal illness during a month-long stay in Britain in 1989.
"I know that this will make many people worry, but we must take note of the fact that his stay was only one month," Tetsuyuki Kitamoto, a Tohoku University professor and Head of the Ministry panel on the disease, told a news conference.
More than 160 people, most of them in Britain, have died worldwide from definitive or probable vCJD after eating meat contaminated with mad cow disease, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Britain has been the worst hit by BSE, which is thought to be transmitted among animals via feed containing bovine brains or spinal cord. Around 7 million animals had been slaughtered in Britain by the end of June 2004 under a scheme aimed at preventing the spread of the infection.
Japan has reported 14 cases of BSE and began testing all its cattle for the disease after the first case in September 2001. It also banned imports of Canadian beef in May 2003 and of U.S. beef in December 2003 after cases of BSE were found in those countries, and is in drawn-out talks on when to lift the ban.
Cases of vCJD have also been reported in France, Canada, Ireland, Italy, the United States and China [Hong Kong S.A.R.], Health Ministry officials said. In all cases outside of Europe, victims are believed to have contracted the disease during stays in Britain, but a one month period would be the shortest stay reported so far, the experts on the health ministry panel said.
The Japanese man, who was in his 40s when he first showed symptoms of the disease in December 2001, had no record of blood transfusions or brain surgery -- other ways in which the disease could be transmitted. The Health Ministry sought to calm any fears among the Japanese public, issuing a statement saying that the disease is not transmitted among humans under regular living conditions. Doctors on the panel said people could consult physicians, but added that at present, there was no way to determine whether a person would show symptoms or to stop the progress of the disease.
Scientists estimate the incubation period for vCJD as 10 to 20 years.
Some aspects of this first case of vCJD in Japan are intriguing. The age of the patient, who is older than the majority of cases of vCJD. The brevity of the period of exposure to infection, if infection is assumed to have occurred during the one month sojourn in Britain. The improbability of infection having occurred in Japan where only a very few cases of BSE have been recognised. As an atypical prion has been associated with some cases of BSE investigated in Japan, it may be possible to establish conclusively where the exposure to infection occurred. - Mod.CP
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Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
Go with God and in Good Health



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