Caution urged on rise in CJD figures

19 March 1999

Caution urged on rise in CJD figures

FIGURES showing a sharp rise in deaths from the human version of mad-cow disease should be treated with caution, experts have warned.

The Creuzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Unit in Edinburgh reports that the number of deaths from the illness jumped to nine in the last quarter of 1998.

The previous nine months had seen a total of six deaths.

Staff at the unit have now written a letter to the medical journal The Lancet, saying that the new figures need to be treated with caution.

But they add that the rise tends to suggest there is increasing mortality from the disease.