Vcjd kills two people in spain

Vcjd kills two people in spain

Two people have died of vCJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease), the human form of mad cow disease, in Castilla-Leon, central Spain. One person (51) died three months ago while the other one (26) died last week, say authorities. According to Spain's Health Department, these were not the first vCJD deaths in the country.

Juan Jose Badiola, President, Organización Colegial Veterinaria de Espana (Veterinary College Organization of Spain), said it is not possible for Spain to ignore the possibility that there may be other cases of vCJD. However, he stressed that the human consumption of beef in Spain is safe. He added that Spanish slaughterhouses ensure that all risky parts from the bodies of cattle never get into the human food chain. Not only are slaughterhouses subject to strict regulations imposed by authorities in Spain, but also by the European Union.

In a public statement, Badiola said that the type of pathology related to mad cow disease may take eight or ten years to 'express itself', in other words, what has happened this year has nothing to do with current contamination. The public should not be alarmed, he explained, because we are seeing the results of a possible contamination which took place years ago.

Nobody knows how the two people became ill, Badiola said. We shall have to wait for the conclusions of an investigation which is currently underway in Castilla-Leon. Data will have to be gathered on a wide array of factors, for example, did the victims travel abroad, or did they have a blood transfusion?

Badiola said it was unusual for a 51 year-old to become ill with vCJD - as it nearly always infects people under 40. He was also surprised that the two people died at such close dates.

According to Badiola, Spain and France share similar eating and social habits. In France three people have died as a result of vCJD. 700 heads of cattle became infected with mad cow disease in Spain up to the end of 2007, compared to 1,500 in France.

-- Organización Colegial Veterinaria

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