RESEARCHERS AT Imperial College London have predicted that about a further 70 people are likely to die from vCJD, the human form of BSE, reports The Guardian.

So far, 148 people in Britain are known to have died from vJCD and five are currently alive with the condition.

The paper reports that those who are unfortunate enough to develop the incurable condition are likely to as a result of consuming infected beef during the 1980s and 1990s.

But the scientists at Imperial College also concede that there may be as many as 600 deaths if all genetic groups are affected, adds the paper.

The estimates were reported in the journal of the Royal Society, Interface, and are far lower than the estimated 3,800 suggested last year after a study of tonsil and appendix samples.

“One reason for the discrepancy between the high estimated number of positive tests and low number of actual recorded clinical cases could be that many infected individuals do not go on to develop clinical disease in their lifetime,” said Arza Ghani of St. Mary‘s Hospital, London.