Saturday, August 20, 2005

Idaho officials investigate sixth possible case of CJD

This AP article reports that five elderly Southern Idaho women died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease this year, and authorities are investigating a possible sixth case. The suspected case is a man in his 60s. State officials are working with federal experts to determine if the Idaho victims had the sporadic, naturally occurring form of CJD or the variant form of CJD that people can contract when they eat meat from a cow infected with BSE. The five women victims were between 60 and 83 years old. Autopsies were performed on three of them. The other two victims died before their disease was reported by a physician and autopsies were not performed. This is the first year that physicians are required to report CJD cases in Idaho. Normally, the naturally occurring variant of the disease infects just one person per 1 million worldwide annually. Idaho averages three cases a year. [Don't move to Idaho. -eds.]

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