nvCJD - France Bans Blood From
People Who Lived In UK 1980-96
PARIS (Reuters) - French authorities said on Tuesday that they would no longer accept blood donations from people who lived in Britain for over a year between 1980 to 1996 in order to lessen the risk of a spread of the human version of mad cow disease.
The measure, which is already in effect in the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Italy and Australia, affects only about 0.7 percent of potential blood donors in France.
The ban was announced by both the Health Ministry and the country's blood safety agency.
They said there was no definitive proof of a risk of transmission through blood for the deadly, brain-wasting new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (nvCJD), for which there is no known cure.
``But under the circumstances, we would rather be safe than sorry,'' health ministry spokesman Patrich Paquet told reporters.
The nvCJD is the human version of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE which affects cows and which scientists say can spread to people via infected beef.
The French statements said only a minority of scientists believed there was a risk in taking blood donations from people who had lived in Britain and may have been affected there.
There have been two recorded fatal cases of nvCJD in France and a third person is believed to be suffering the disease. At least 80 people have died of the disease in Britain.

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