26 January 1999
One beef dish ‘could have caused CJD death’

A SINGLE meal of beef may have been responsible for the death of the first known victim of the human brain disorder linked to “mad cow” disease, an inquest was told yesterday (Monday).

The family of Stephen Churchill, who died aged 19 in 1995, told the inquest in Wiltshire of his descent from typical schoolboy to shambling wreck.

They had fought for the right to an inquest into his death from the condition that has since become known as new-variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (nvCJD). He was originally recorded as dying from natural causes.

Dr James Ironside of the CJD surveillance unit at the University of Edinburgh told the inquest that the schoolboy had almost certainly contracted the disease from eating sausages or burgers containing infected food.

Since Mr Churchills death, 35 people have died of nvCJD.

  • The Times 26/01/99 page 7
  • The Independent 26/01/99 page 5
  • The Guardian 26/01/99 page 7
  • The Daily Telegraph 26/01/99 page 5
  • The Herald 26/01/99 page 3