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From: TSS (216-119-132-108.ipset12.wt.net)
Subject: French vCJD-infected blood donor sparks fresh scare
Date: November 23, 2004 at 9:18 am PST

French vCJD-infected blood donor sparks fresh scare

PARIS, Nov 23 (AFP) - France on Tuesday launched its second hunt in little more than a month for people who had received blood donated by a patient with the deadly human form of mad-cow disease.

The individual - the ninth French case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) - donated blood several times between 1984 and 2002, the French health ministry said.

"Specific measures have been taken, as these donations were used for transfusions of red blood cells and platelets and for products derived from blood," the ministry said. Platelets are clotting agents which staunch loss of blood from wounds.

"Recipients of the blood and platelet transfusions will be advised by their doctor as to the


nature of the risk and precautions to take," the ministry said.

"As for the blood derivation products, the transmission risk has not been established. If it does exist, it is in any case reduced by the various stages in the manufacturing process."

On October 21, France said it was tracing 10 people who had received a blood transfusion from the country's 8th victim of vCJD.

The patient, "a young person who is still alive," had donated blood several times between 1993 and 2003.

vCJD is a human form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), in which a rogue prion protein proliferates in the brain, turning it spongy.

The disease is believed to have leapt the species barrier to humans who ate beef from infected cattle.

The epicentre of the BSE outbreak was Britain, which exported cattle and beef products to many countries within the European Union and further afield.

BSE came to the fore in the late 1980s but the source was only curtailed in 1996 with the introduction of tough EU-wide laws on animal feed, the slaughter of suspect animals and the ban on the sale of animal parts most likely to have the prions.

So far 146 people have died of vCJD in Britain, where there are also five suspected cases, according to figures obtained Tuesday on the official British vCJD website (http://www.cjd.ed.ac.uk).

After France, with nine cases, come Ireland, with two cases (one of whom had lived in England), followed by Canada, Italy and the United States, with one death each, according to official tallies.

http://www.expatica.com/TSS



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