29 February 2000
Human BSE suspected in baby

By FWi staff

TESTS are being carried out to establish whether a seriously ill baby has contracted the human form of BSE from her mother.

The Department of Health has admitted that and investigation is under way and one possibility is maternal transmission of new variant Creutzfeld Jakob Disease (nvCJD)

Until now, it has been widely thought the only way humans caught nvCJD was through eating BSE-infected beef.

The baby girl, who has been ill since birth last autumn, is being treated in a Midlands hospital with her mother.

Her mother has been confirmed as suffering from nvCJD

A Department of Health spokesman told the PA news agency: “We obviously cannot comment on the details of individual cases.

“We understand that all the necessary investigations are under way by the NHS trust involved and the appropriate specialists.”

A month ago, it was reported that a 24-year-old mother of a young baby was in a serious condition in Coventrys Walsgrave Hospital with a suspected case of nvCJD.

At the time, it was said the womans daughter was also seriously ill in hospital, but it was not thought the child had the same illness.

It is not known if the two reports are linked.

Government statistics recorded 48 definite and probable cases of nvCJD in the UK between 1985 and last year.