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From: TSS ()
Subject: EXERCISE TO REDUCE RISK OF VARIANT CJD TRANSMISSION BEGINS
Date: November 17, 2005 at 1:43 pm PST

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################


CJD WATCH MESSAGE BOARD
TSS 2005
EXERCISE TO REDUCE RISK OF VARIANT CJD TRANSMISSION BEGINS
Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:43
71.248.137.103


Time: 16:15
EXERCISE TO REDUCE RISK OF VARIANT CJD TRANSMISSION BEGINS

Precautionary measures to reduce the possible risk of transmitting vCJD through surgical procedures are to be extended. Around 50 people who have received blood transfusions will be traced and notified of their potential exposure to vCJD.

This follows an announcement in July 2005, when around 100 blood donors were told they may have a greater chance of carrying the vCJD agent, compared with the general population. Blood from these donors had been given to three people who later developed vCJD and experts advised that it was not possible to exclude the donated blood as a possible source of that infection.

The CJD Incidents Panel has now advised that certain other patients who received blood from some of these donors should also be contacted, so that additional precautions can be taken against the possibility of further transmission.

The UK blood services are contacting hospitals where the donated blood was issued, requesting their help in identifying patients involved. This process is likely to take a number of months to complete. Patients will be informed on a case by case basis and will be offered advice and support. The notification of patients and their general practitioners is being co-ordinated by the blood services together with the health protection agencies

The likelihood of a person who may be infected with vCJD going on to develop symptoms of the disease is uncertain. It is possible that an infected person may never develop symptoms, but until a reliable blood screening test becomes available, it is sensible to proceed on a precautionary basis to protect public health.

Notes to Editors

1. There is currently no validated diagnostic test that can be used before the onset of clinical symptoms to diagnose whether someone has contracted vCJD. Since 1995, the Department has contributed over £30 million into CJD research, including research for the development of an effective test.

2. Individuals identified as 'at risk of vCJD for public health purposes' are advised not to donate blood, organs or tissues; to tell health professionals in charge of their care whenever they are going to have surgery or invasive medical procedures, of their status and to tell their family in case they require emergency surgery.

3. People who have themselves received a transfusion of whole blood components since January 1980 have been excluded from donating blood since 2004. This is one of a number of measures taken to improve the safety of blood in relation to vCJD.

4. We have also invested £200 million in improving decontamination standards for surgical instruments and an extra £6.6 million into research of new decontamination technologies that are more effective against the CJD agent.

5. About 3 million units of blood are transfused to over half a million patients in the NHS each year. Most patients receive more than one transfusion.

6. The report of the first possible case of transmission of vCJD by blood transfusion was in December 2003.

7. For some of the 100 or so donors who were notified in July 2005, the implied risk of vCJD infection was estimated to be clearly above 1%. 1% is the threshold generally used by the CJD Incidents Panel in recommending whether individuals should be informed, so that additional precautions can be taken against further transmission. The measures being taken today will identify the other recipients of blood from this subset of donors, on the basis that these recipients are also liable to have a greater than 1% risk of vCJD infection.

http://www.wired-gov.net/

TSS

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