22 August 1997
Strict vegetarian has CJD
CLARE TOMKINS, 24, a strict vegetarian for 12 years, has become the latest victim of the new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which has been linked to BSE. She is in the last stages of the disease, and is the 22nd confirmed case.
Her father Roger Tomkins said doctors were in no doubt she caught the disease from mechanically recovered meat eaten before 1985. It is the longest-known incubation period and her father fears a CJD time bomb is about to explode.
Robert Will, head of the CJD surveillance unit in Edinburgh, said people could have been exposed to BSE before 1986, even though the first clinical case was not diagnosed until 1986. Cattle incubating the disease could have been entering the food chain before then, he said.