07 August 1997
CJD expert warns of disaster of "biblical proportions"
CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB Disease (CJD) expert John Collinge of St Marys Hospital, London warned of a growing sense of complacency over the chances of a major epidemic.
He said this could occur despite the fact that the number of cases of the new variant has not risen as quickly as some feared. It could be Europe-wide and become a disaster of biblical proportions, he said, with tens of thousands of cases.
He said the link with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was clearly established and there would be many more cases. People should prepare for the worst.
One new case and one suspected case have emerged in the past week. Collinge believes a drug to control the progress of the disease could be available within 10 years.
The Health Department denied complacency within Government. Collinge, who eats beef himself, admitted if he had children he would be reluctant to give them beef or beef products.