Mad Cow/Creutzfeld-Jacob
Disease Now In Blood Supply??
Disaster Potential From Fatal Disease
From Ted Oliphant
Copyright © 1997
Copyright © 1997 Reuters
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 blood.
"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.

Email Homepage