According to CDC, the data from the United Kingdom indicating that relatively few of the presumably large number of persons exposed to BSE have developed vCJD suggests that the risk of contracting vCJD is low, even after consumption of contaminated product.3

As of December 2007, three cases of vCJD have been reported in residents of the United States; however, this is because cases are credited to the country of initial symptom onset, regardless of where the exposure occurred. Scientists at CDC have concluded that the patients in the United States contracted vCJD in the U.K. and in Saudi Arabia.4 No cases of vCJD have been connected to beef consumed in the United States.4

The number of deaths from definite and probable variant CJD cases as of December 2007 was 205 (166 in the U.K., 23 in France, four in Ireland [two likely infected in the U.K.], three in the United States [two likely infected in the U.K., one likely infected in Saudi Arabia], two in the Netherlands, two in Portugal, one in Canada [likely infected in the U.K.], one in Italy, one in Japan [likely infected in the U.K.], one in Saudi Arabia and one in Spain).4,8 (see table 2)

(Table 2)

Number of deaths from definite and probable variant CJD cases

Country

Number of cases

Country where infection most likely occurred

(if different from the country in the first column)

United Kingdom

166

 

France

23

 

Ireland

4

2 likely infected in the U.K.

United States

3

2 likely infected in the U.K. and 1 in Saudi Arabia

Netherlands

2

 

Portugal

2

 

Canada

1

1 likely infected in the U.K.

Italy

1

 

Japan

1

1 likely infected in the U.K.

Saudi Arabia

1

 

Spain

1

 

Total

205

 

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vCJD Fact Sheet (through November 2006) http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/vcjd/factsheet_nvcjd.htm#reported and The European and Allied Countries Collaborative Study Group of CJD (EUROCJD) plus the Extended Collaborative Study Group of CJD (NEUROCJD) (through December 2007) http://www.eurocjd.ed.ac.uk/

Based on data from the United Kingdom and the United States, the median age at death for vCJD patients is 28 years, compared with 68 years for patients with classic CJD. The median duration of illness for vCJD is 13-14 months, compared to 4-5 months for classic CJD.3

Table 3 (below) graphically depicts the difference in the age at death between variant CJD patients (yellow) and CJD patients (red).

(Table 3)

Source: Centers for Disease Control Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. May 7, 2004.

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm53e507a1.htm

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