Mad cow disease vCJD

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ToneControlToneControl Frets: 5747
edited July 16 in Off Topic
show on BCC:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/health-48940021/i-gave-my-daughter-something-which-killed-her


Watch the full documentary Mad Cow Disease: The Great British Beef Scandal on Thursday July 11 at 21:00, on BBC Two. It is also available on iPlayer.

How many more people are infected?
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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 13400
    Must remember to take a look at that, I'd be interested to see an assessment of the whole thing.
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  • I caught the end of an interview with one of the program makers on BBC Breakfast this morning. Only heard a small bit of what she was sayijg but was very surprised to hear that CVjD is still a thing in this country! It's something I only really remember from being on the news when I was a kid, I'd just kinda assumed it was consigned to history.

    A case of out of sight, out of mind I guess. Definitely will try and catch that on iplayer if I can. 
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 5061
    edited July 12
    It is largely a problem of the past. 


    If you look at the vCJD column in the link, there have only been two deaths from mad cow disease in more than 7 years.  Even if there are a few more in old people that haven't been diagnosed, it's not a huge threat compared with something like air pollution, which is estimated to be killing between 28,000 and 36,000 people per year.

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  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 5747
    crunchman said:
    It is largely a problem of the past. 


    If you look at the vCJD column in the link, there have only been two deaths from mad cow disease in more than 7 years.  Even if there are a few more in old people that haven't been diagnosed, it's not a huge threat compared with something like air pollution, which is estimated to be killing between 28,000 and 36,000 people per year.

    the theory years ago that it could be  a time bomb
    Not watched this programme yet
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 7540
    The numbers historically all look pretty small next to sporadic which is already quite rare. My girlfriends mum died of sporadic CJD a few years ago, weird to know one of those stats is her.
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  • Zodiac51Zodiac51 Frets: 336
    Even more weird to know that one of those stats was my sister :( 
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  • SassafrasSassafras Frets: 15871
    I notice whoever thought it was a good idea to feed meat to herbivores has never been held to account.
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  • NiteflyNitefly Frets: 2636
    Why is this in "Politics"?

    Did anyone bring the petits-fours?
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  • strtdvstrtdv Frets: 1498
    Theoretically the incubation period can be so long there could yet be new cases related to the issues in the 1990s.

    The main problem it causes is in healthcare. There is no screening test for it, anyone could have been exposed to it (ever licked a stamp?), and if you use a surgical instrument on someone who turns out to have it then the next people who you use it on have a substantially increased risk of developing it (autoclaving doesn't destroy the prion).

    This basically means everyone getting a surgical procedure needs to have a risk screening done, and every instrument used on every patient needs to be traceable, and that information held for a very long time
    Robot Lords of Tokyo, SMILE TASTE KITTENS!
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  • KittyfriskKittyfrisk Frets: 951
    Nitefly said:
    Why is this in "Politics"?

    Probably as the whole hideous thing came about by the then (Tory) Government allowing that insane shit to happen whilst turning a blind eye to the manufacturers methods, so long as they grew and made money.
    Just as other Governments did with miner's lung diseases, asbestos, contaminated factor 8, cigarettes etc.
    That's why it's in Politics IMO.
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 5061
    strtdv said:
    Theoretically the incubation period can be so long there could yet be new cases related to the issues in the 1990s.

    Given the big slow down in the rate of new cases (2 in 7 plus years), I can't see there being too many new cases.  It's possible that there are people who are now in their 80s who have had it, and it's just being treated as a more routine case of dementia, and not diagnosed.  Even if that is the case, I suspect the number would still be in single figures annually.  You would expect a similar incidence in people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s and that doesn't seem to be happening.

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  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 1701
    I lost an old work colleague to a variant of this last year. From something being obviously wrong and being diagnosed to passing away was about 6 mths but the aggressiveness of this was particularly nasty with severe dementia symptoms coming into play within the 2 months e.g. no recognition of family and friends.

    It was devastating for his family and friends as he was a fit and active chap in his mid-50s (didn't look or act it) and was a landscape gardener. Very sad
     www.cairoeast.co.uk - Madness Tribute band (Bass Player) and guitarist elsewhere
    Feedback - http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/57885/
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  • I was in NZ this month for the first time in 16 years.  My sister in law told me she's still not allowed to give blood in NZ because she was in the UK at the time of the outbreak.
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  • Zodiac51Zodiac51 Frets: 336
    Same in France, I live in France, I can't donate blood, despite the fact there were cases of nvCJD in France at the same time as in the UK, difference being in France it was all hushed up and brushed under the carpet.
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  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 5747
    https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001379.htm

    Kuru is a very rare disease. It is caused by an infectious protein (prion) found in contaminated human brain tissue.
    Kuru is found among people from New Guinea who practiced a form of cannibalism in which they ate the brains of dead people as part of a funeral ritual. This practice stopped in 1960, but cases of kuru were reported for many years afterward because the disease has a long incubation period. The incubation period is the time it takes for symptoms to appear after being exposed to the agent that causes disease.
    Kuru causes brain and nervous system changes similar to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Similar diseases appear in cows as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also called mad cow disease.
    The main risk factor for kuru is eating human brain tissue, which can contain the infectious particles.


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  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 5747
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuru_(disease)

    The epidemic likely started when a villager developed sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and died. When villagers ate the brain, they caught the disease, and it was then spread to other villagers that ate their infected brains.[5]
    While the Fore people stopped consuming human meat in the early 1960s, when it was first speculated to be transmitted via endocannibalism, the disease lingered due to kuru's long incubation period of anywhere from 10 to over 50 years.[6] The epidemic declined sharply after discarding cannibalism, from 200 deaths per year in 1957 to 1 or no deaths annually in 2005, with sources disagreeing on whether the last known kuru victim died in 2005 or 2009


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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 5061
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuru_(disease)

    The epidemic likely started when a villager developed sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and died. When villagers ate the brain, they caught the disease, and it was then spread to other villagers that ate their infected brains.[5]
    While the Fore people stopped consuming human meat in the early 1960s, when it was first speculated to be transmitted via endocannibalism, the disease lingered due to kuru's long incubation period of anywhere from 10 to over 50 years.[6] The epidemic declined sharply after discarding cannibalism, from 200 deaths per year in 1957 to 1 or no deaths annually in 2005, with sources disagreeing on whether the last known kuru victim died in 2005 or 2009



    This paper is one of the links at the bottom of the Wikipedia article:

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(06)68930-7/fulltext

    The summary says there were 11 patients between 1996 and 2004.  That's a big reduction from 200 per year - around 90%. 

    With the last known victim in 2009 (at the latest), which is 40 years after the cannibalism stopped, we should be near the end of vCJD in the UK.  It's now 30 years since animal protein was banned in bovine feed.  There have only been 2 deaths from vCJD in the UK since 2011.


    Zodiac51 said:
    Same in France, I live in France, I can't donate blood, despite the fact there were cases of nvCJD in France at the same time as in the UK, difference being in France it was all hushed up and brushed under the carpet.

    The French were really bad about BSE.  My Dad worked in agriculture all his working life, and was friends with one of the local vets.  This guy spent some time in France in the 90's and went out with a French vet on his rounds.  They saw a cow that had all the classic symptoms of BSE, and the vet told the farmer that the cow had the shakes and he should send it off to the slaughterhouse.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/1466162/French-mad-cow-disease-cases-went-undetected.html

    That article says that there 300 times more cases in France than the officially recorded number.

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  • jonnyburgojonnyburgo Frets: 6955
    Profit over health, the industry does not care as long as they are selling and people keep buying
    "OUR TOSSPOT"
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  • NelsonPNelsonP Frets: 1089
    I was talking about this with someone from Germany recently. She spent 6 months in the UK in the early 90s and is still not allowed to donate blood as a result.

    That seems to be a policy that is not set as a result of a political or economic agenda, but from a genuine concern for people's welfare. 

    The incubation period for CJD is unknown and could, in theory, be very long. It could be a timebomb. Or it might not be. But our European friends are still being very cautious about it.
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