16 April 1999
CJD cases rise to 40

THE number of cases of new-variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) has risen to 40, according to the Imperial College of Medicine.

Researchers found there were five deaths in the last quarter of 1998, the highest in any three-month period since the new variant was identified in 1995.

There were 10 deaths in 1996 and 1997 and 16 last year. The latest figures show that one case was notified in the first three months of this year.

The team at Imperial College has been trying to find out if there is any greater danger for people who work with animals or carcasses.

It says, in a report in the British Medical Journal, that no link has so far been found.

There were 12 deaths attributed to CJD in farmers over the period, but none among butchers, abattoir workers or veterinarians.