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January 12, 2005

Thousands of Britons may carry vCJD(Human form of mad cow disease)

Topics: Health Issues

Just in case you have trouble backing off or eleminating red meat from your diet, especially in the light of recent reports of it's links to cancer and diabetes, here is an incentive - you can't get mad cow disease if you don't eat red meat.

The Scotsman Jan 12

THOUSANDS of people may be infected with "mad cow" disease, although a major increase in the number of deaths is unlikely, the latest scientific research predicts.

Researchers used a computer model to predict the progress of the vCJD (variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) epidemic based on the level of infection and the number of recorded cases.

Only about 70 more people were likely to become ill as a result of eating beef infected with the cattle brain disease BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) in the 1980s, said the scientists. This figure could rise as high as 600 if the whole population was susceptible, and not just the 40 per cent with a genetic make-up known to make people vulnerable to vCJD. Yet thousands of individuals could unsuspectingly harbour the defective prion proteins thought to be responsible for the disease. The forecast, from scientists at Imperial College London, suggests that vCJD will be largely hidden and contained within the UK population. In perhaps 90 per cent of cases, the infection would remain "sub-clinical" and never develop into a life-threatening illness. The Scotsman

Posted by Hyscience at January 12, 2005 3:11 PM

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