Another 'Cluster' Death Fifth
From New Variant
From ProMED-mail <>
QUENIBOROUGH, England - A fifth person has died of suspected new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (nvCJD) in a small area of Leicestershire. The man, who died on the evening of 28 Sep 2000 after months of illness, is believed to have been a farm worker with links to the village of Queniborough, just north of Leicester. The village is being investigated by the Department of Health over its high incidence of new variant CJD - the human form of "mad cow disease" (BSE) - after 4 people living within a 5-mile radius of each other, died of the disease. Their interim findings will be presented to doctors at the health authority at the beginning of November.
A report into the government's handling of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) will be published later this month. Experts investigating the village are looking to see if people in the area are more susceptible to the disease. The Leicestershire nvCJD "cluster" was first reported in November 1998, after it claimed 3 lives within 12 weeks in 1998. A 35 year old man from Queniborough, and a 24 year old woman from nearby Glenfield, died in October. A 19 year old woman, formerly of Queniborough, had died 2 months earlier in August. A 19-year-old man died from the disease in May at the Leicester Royal Infirmary and, at the time, health officials said it was "highly probable" that a 24-year-old man in the county had also contracted it.
The investigation into the Leicestershire cluster includes a large team of officials from bodies such as the National CJD Surveillance Unit in Edinburgh. They are working with the Department of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture. The Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee, the official body monitoring the progress of the disease, said in July [2000] there were 69 known victims of variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (vCJD) in the UK. The disease can only be identified with absolute certainty after death. "The number of cases reported now indicates a statistically significant rising trend of around 20-30% per annum to date," the spokesman said.
CJD Kills Five Around Village
By John Scott

A young farm worker has become the FIFTH person to die from the human form of mad cow disease around one small village.
Christopher Reeve, 24 - who worked in quiet Queniborough, Leicestershire - lost his long battle with the disease last week.
His parents Tony and Linda were too upset to speak of the tragedy yesterday.
But in a death notice they said: "We are heartbroken. Christopher has passed away peacefully after as much pain as anybody could cope with.
"We watched over him for months and watched him suffer but in all the times he never complained. He would laugh and joke and smiled at us right to the end.
"We keep asking 'Why him?' He was so gentle and kind and never hurt anyone. We held him in our arms and we wished we could make him better but it wasn't to be."
Health experts launched a huge investigation after revealing in July that four people linked to Queniborough had been killed by CreutzfeldJakob Disease.
Their initial findings into Britain's first cluster of victims are not expected until November - but there are growing fears they will be unable to identify a specific source of infection.
Victim No1 ... Stacey with son Josh
Prayers were said for the victims at the village's 488-year-old parish church St Mary's yesterday.
And afterwards vicar Rev James Ambrose confessed: "The community is concerned and we are supportive of the families who have suffered and are suffering from the effect of new-variant CJD."
Leicestershire's communicable disease consultant Philip Monk said Christopher's death at his parents' home in nearby Mountsorrel had been expected.
And he added: "It's a tragedy for the family and our thoughts are with them." He said the probe in the cluster was focusing on food supply.
The chances of getting the brain disease in a five-year period should be three in a million.
But Queniborough, population 1,800, lost its first three victims in 12 weeks in 1998.
The first was burger-loving mum-of-one Stacey Robinson, 19, who died shortly after moving from the village.
Two months later Pamela Beyless, 24, died. She lived four miles away and was a regular visitor to her grandparents in Queniborough.
Victim No. 2 ... 24-year-old Pamela
Shortly after the disease claimed van driver Glen Day, 35, who lived with his parents in Queniborough.
Five months ago a lad of 19 living near the village also died.
A dad-of-two who lives in Queniborough said yesterday: "Fear hangs over all of us. What makes it so much worse is that this is an invisible disease. You have no idea who has contracted it or what the source could be."
Village butcher David Clarke: "Our sympathies go out to the families but I am confident the cases are not linked to my shop."
Village newsagent Munira Aboobakar said: "It is worrying there does not seem to be any clue to the source."
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