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From: TSS (
Subject: Man with suspected vCJD treated in Dublin, a man in his early 20s who is very seriously ill
Date: October 23, 2004 at 7:51 am PST

Man with suspected vCJD treated in Dublin

By Joe Humphreys

A Dublin hospital is investigating the first suspected case of vCJD to emanate from within the State. The patient is understood to be a man in his early 20s who is very seriously ill.

A spokesperson for the hospital where he is being treated said last night: "There is a potential case of vCJD currently being investigated."

The spokesperson said that in the interests of the patient and the family, no other details, including the name of the hospital, would be released. The man's medical background is now being traced to establish whether or not he was a blood donor, or whether he may have received a blood transfusion in an operation.

Transfusion experts believe there is a potential for vCJD to be transmitted through blood and blood products. However, contaminated beef was the cause of most confirmed cases of the disease in the UK. Only one person, a woman who had lived for a lengthy period in the UK, has been diagnosed in the Republic with vCJD, the human form of mad-cow disease.

It is understood the man at the centre of the investigation had not resided in the United Kingdom. If the diagnosis is confirmed, it is believed he would be the first indigenous case of vCJD in the Republic.

The revelation comes just weeks after the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) announced new donor controls to reduce the risk of vCJD transmission in the State. From next month, the IBTS will not take any donations from people who lived in Britain for more than a year between 1980 and 1996.

Dr Joan O'Riordan, consultant haematologist with the IBTS, said last month it was "highly unlikely" vCJD was circulating in the Irish blood supply, noting Ireland had about 0.5 per cent of the overall risk in the UK because of the measures the IBTS had taken in terms of reducing its donor pool.

© The Irish Times

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