Mass CJD screening possible?

27 August 1998

Mass CJD screening possible?

EVERYONE in Britain could be screened for new varient Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (nvCJD) after doctors discovered evidence of the disease in the appendix of a man who later died of nvCJD, the human form of BSE, reports The Guardian.

The man showed no outward signs of the disease at the time his appendix was removed, although the appendix did. He died three years later with the symptoms of nvCJD.

The Government hopes it can now track the exposure of the population to BSE through examination of thousands of appendices and tonsils stored in hospital laboratories after removal.

If they find just one more sample containing nvCJD – which has killed 27 people since May 1995 – then mass screening of who have their appendix or tonsils removed will take place.

Researchers are already preparing ethical rules and procedures for the initial studies, which will be funded by the Medical Research Council.

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