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From: TSS ()
Date: April 5, 2005 at 7:00 am PST

France announces two more cases of human mad-cow disease

5 April 2005

PARIS - A French government health watchdog announced on Tuesday that two more people had been diagnosed with the human form of mad-cow disease, bringing the national tally to 11.

The two individuals diagnosed with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) “are not on the records as having been blood donors,” the Institute of Health Surveillance (InVS) said in statement published on its website.

Four French nationals have been identified as having vCJD in less than six months. Two of them had been blood donors between 1984 and 2002, and the authorities launched a hunt to see who had received transfusions from them.

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

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 (EU) and further afield.

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

So far 149 people have died of vCJD in Britain, where there are also six suspected cases of people who are still alive, according to figures obtained Tuesday on the official British vCJD website (

After France, with 11, come Ireland, with two cases, followed by Canada, Japan, Italy and the United States, with one death each, according to a toll compiled by AFP.

Two of the patients -- one from Ireland and one from Japan -- are suspected to have picked up the disease while they were living in Britain.§ion=theworld&col=


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