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Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) is a rare but fatal brain disease with unusually long incubation periods (measured in years) and which usually strikes people over 65.

In contrast to the traditional form of CJD, vCJD, a variant of CJD, was indentified in the 90s and is now strongly linked with the mad cow disease BSE. (see context).

In the 1990, after the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or "mad cow disease") in cattle, surveillances started to investigate if there was a relation between the bovine spongiform encephalopathy and the CJD.

Finally the consumption of food of bovine origin contaminated with the agent of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), a disease of cattle, has been strongly linked to the occurrence of a variant of CJD (vCJD) in humans.

In contrast to the classic form of CJD, the new variant form predominantly affects younger persons and has atypical clinical features.

175 cases of vCJD were reported in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (United Kingdom), and 49 cases in other countries from October 1996 to March 2011.

Following the successful containment of the BSE epidemic in cattle, the number of cases of vCJD in the United Kingdom has declined since 2000.

Source Publication:
Agricultural Policies in OECD Countries: Monitoring and Evaluation 2000: Glossary of Agricultural Policy Terms, OECD

World Health Organization (WHO), n.d., Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Website. Available at: see website.

Cross References:


Statistical Theme: Agriculture and fisheries statistics - Agricultural policy indicators

Created on Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Last updated on Thursday, April 18, 2013