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From: TSS (
Subject: Results Of Probe Into N.Y. Brain Disease Deaths Revealed
Date: October 19, 2004 at 10:34 am PST

Results Of Probe Into N.Y. Brain Disease Deaths Revealed

POSTED: 8:18 am EDT October 19, 2004
ALBANY, N.Y. -- A state investigation found nothing unusual surrounding a group of deaths in the Hudson Valley caused by a rare, brain-wasting disease. State health officials confirmed Monday that three people in two different counties died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the past two years, but said the number of deaths is consistent with expectations. "To have two (deaths) in a given county over a two-year period is not something that would lead us to be overly concerned. It can happen," said William Van Slyke, a spokesman for the state Health Department.

New York state normally sees an average of 20 CJD deaths every year. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a fatal, brain-destroying disorder that affects one in a million people worldwide, gained national attention in recent years because it has been linked to eating beef tainted with mad cow disease. CJD is believed to involve the unexplained the mutation of proteins in the brain called prions. Health officials said none of the confirmed CJD cases are mad cow-related and that there is no public health threat. The disease cannot be transmitted through casual contact, but can be caused by inheriting a genetic mutation or acquired through medical procedures that used contaminated equipment. The state probe comes after reports of five suspected CJD deaths in the mid-Hudson Valley. The department discovered only three were actual CJD cases, and is continuing to investigate whether there is any link between them. Two CJD deaths occurred in Ulster County in 2003 and 2004. The third death happened in Dutchess County in 2004, according to the department. A suspected death in Ulster County was ruled out after further tests. Another Ulster County death was inconclusive because an autopsy was never performed, but health officials said that victim was already ill before moving to the county. Last week, the family of one of the victims, Coleen Staccio, told The New York Times and The Kingston Daily Freeman that brain tissue sent to the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center in Ohio revealed she did not die of CJD. The report did not list a cause of death. Only about 150 cases of the human disease have been linked to mad cow, mostly in the United Kingdom. In the United States, only one human case has been identified with mad cow -- a Florida woman who died in June after eating contaminated beef more than a decade ago in England.

© 2004 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

JUST MORE BSeee from our federal government.

everybody seems too scared to tackle the truth about sporadic CJD...


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