- Note: During his interview with Ted Oliphant
in Monday's (11-10-97) Sightings On The Radio program, Jeff raised the
issue of the blood supply being contaminated with CJD. Ted Oliphant forwarded
this update the very next day. You can hear the full interview with Ted
via the RealAudio Archives.
- LONDON - Britain's national blood supply
could be infected with a new strain of the human equivalent of so-called
"mad cow" disease, a leading health official said Monday.
- Professor John Pattison urged the government
to take action to minimize the threat from the variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob
disease (CJD), following recent discoveries about the brain-wasting illness.
- "It's a significant risk for public
health, one that we need to be concerned about and to take whatever measures
we can to protect public health," he told the BBC's Panorama program.
- "I think the principle that's involved
is to reduce the exposure of any individual to someone else's blood, and
there are a number of ways that you can achieve that."
- Two recent studies have confirmed that
bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease) causes the new
strain of CJD, and that eating infected beef is the likely cause.
- Pattison, chairman of the government's
Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Body, said screening procedures for
blood donors should be tightened. He encouraged people to donate blood
for their own use to reduce the risk of exposure.
- He stressed no one knew what percentage
of the British population could have new variant CJD and might be donating
- "It's still impossible to say with
any accuracy but there could be quite significant numbers of people incubating
new variant CJD, raising the possibility that these people could be donating
infected blood to the national stocks," he said.