Mad Cow Infected Blood 'to kill 1000'(34 Posts)
The main risk from blood has always been hepatitis C : and the chances of that are tens of thousands of times higher than of CJD.
CJD and all other types of motor / endocrine / neurological disease are horrible for the sufferer and those around them
it does appear that the human digestion can cope with those prions - unlike the ruminant digestion
which is why the CJD epidemic has never happened : I ate cattle cake of the dubious sort (too much time spent on farms) in the early 1970's
and it was in the food chain from around 1974 till around 2000.
If it was going to happen, the header curve would have kicked in by now.
Worry about things that are likely to happen.
I am sorry I've been rude to you in the past Beaware, but I agree 100% with Talkinpeace.
Awful for the OP to have lost her son to CJD - whether BSE or idiopathic
when you start digging, all teh news stories about the 'looming epedemic' in the last ten years have been linked to research teams bigging up their work at funding renewal time.
I'm due an operation soon and know I'll have to sign a transfusion consent form ... Dreading it
its something on my mind too. When I had my blood transfusion I had refused one for a week because I was frightenend of CJD, Then a doctor came and told me all blood products were screened. (this was 2003). She lied. I still cant get over that. After 2 pints had gone in I turned on the TV and lo, a BBC news story saying those who had recieved blood could no longer give blood as blood wasnt screened, I couldnt believe it. The doctor spluttered and said oh it was for the best as I would recover faster. I would have recovered anyhow but slower.
And now I fret.
Major, it's very very very very unlikely you've been affected. Please don't worry.
I used to get the regular updates from govt. statisticians on CJD cases. Each figure represented appalling heartbreak and suffering, but the astonishing thing was that there were so few, given almost everyone in the country was exposed to BSE, repeatedly and for a long period of time.
This latest research is about a potential risk - it needs further research and is important for government policy but it's not something that should panic anyone right now. We may, almost all of us, continue to be lucky.
Beware so sorry
Agree that this could be a time Bomb
Is current blood screened for vcjd
As am I Bea - hadn't read all the replies when I posted.
Be, I am so sorry for your terrible loss
Really wish I hadn't read this now!
I had a blood transfusion 4 years ago when I had my son and I'm now worried sick as I've always had depression and anxiety anyway, but have recently started to get extra moody and paranoid, tired and sometimes feel dizzy!
I realise this is probably down to lack of sleep or being busy but.......... So paranoid now!!!
matilda, seriously, you think you know better than the Royal College of Physicians? CJD is caused by eating meat contaminated with BSE. That is a fact. It is also a fact that there have been remarkably few cases, thank heavens, despite widespread exposure - each case is a tragedy, but there are not as many as you might expect. We've been lucky. However, we may not continue to be lucky. It is possible that receiving contaminated blood, rather than eating contaminated food, may be a more efficient way of transmitting CJD, for instance.
The Dept of Health is being appallingly complacent by assuming we can just cross our fingers and hope there aren't too many blood donors carrying CJD.
So, if I am reading this right, they already have a blood test and they could already test potential donors even if they don't screen all the blood. If they are taking blood, can they not take a blood test on the people that donate?
TeamEdward, oh thank you I will have a read now.
having had a blood transfusion I'd like to read it too
If CJD was caused by eating infected meat there would have been thousands more deaths spanning over a lot more years than have done.
Professor John Collinge, an expert from University College London, whose research unit has developed a blood test for vCJD, said there is an element of wishful thinking within the Government, with officials hoping the problem has gone away.
He said he is sceptical of guesstimates of future cases and believes ministers need to start a study of vCJD in blood, rather than appendices, to get a proper grip on the risk of infection through transfusions.
The figure of one in 2,000 in the appendix study was pretty worrying, he said. I was pretty alarmed by that. Its clear there is a very substantial pool of infection in the community. There needs to be blood testing to answer this question of prevalance properly.
Sir Paul Beresford, an MP and former Conservative environment minister, also believes the Government must wake up to the potential for future vCJD infections and is campaigning for more filtering of donated blood.
If weve got it wrong our grandchildren are going to potentially have an epidemic of vCJD that we can do nothing about but we can prevent it if we act now, he said.
Theres some quite simple things they can do. For example, theres a new system thats being developed that will filter red blood cells before transfusion.
[The system] is not adequate at the moment but the Governments argument is that theres no sign of a risk because the number of people turning up with vCJD is going down. But it can take 10, 15, 20, 25 years for this to pop up.
A spokesman for the Department of Health said the Government continues to encourage people of all ages to give blood, adding we have one of the safest blood supplies in the world.
Independent experts from the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs have used this study during their considerations of measures to reduce the potential risk of transmission through blood transfusions, she said. There is no evidence of any UK clinical cases of vCJD being linked to a blood transfusion given after 1999.
In fact there have been no new cases in the UK for more than two years.
She said the study relates to peoples future potential to develop vCJD, not actual new cases that have occured.
A little-reported study last summer concluded the prevalence of this silent vCJD is likely to be twice as high as previously thought.
These 30,000 carriers can unknowingly pass on the infectious proteins known as prions to new potential sufferers through donated blood.
Because so little is known about vCJD, there is no telling which carriers will go on to develop the disease or whether any new cases will actually materialise at all.
There have been no new cases for two years and there are thought to be no surviving sufferers of vCJD, which has always historically proved fatal.
However a new risk assessment published this month by the Governments Health Protection Analytical team reveals that infected blood donations could cause up to 1,000 deaths in a high case scenario.
About half of the cases could develop in people who have already received blood transfusions and up to 580 cases from people who are yet to be infected with the disease. The central estimate of infections yet to occur is 205.
It suggests ministers could consider recruiting young blood donors born after 1996 once they become eligible, as they will not have eaten infected beef.
The number of silent vCJD infections associated with transfusion would be much higher than the number of clinical cases, it said. It is therefore important to maintain, and if possible enhance, measures to prevent onward transmission of infection, notably the exclusion of recipients from donating blood.
Mr Dobson, the former Labour Health Secretary, said everything humanly possible should be done to develop a blood test.
There is no room at all for complacency, he told The Daily Telegraph. With a blood test, you would be able to screen every potential donor. If that screening showed the incidence was higher than thought then maybe you would do it for the whole population.
Government experts believe there is still a risk of people contracting variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) through blood transfusions, as about 30,000 Britons are likely to be carrying the brain-wasting illness in a dormant form double the previous estimate.
They warn the current total death toll of 176 from vCJD could rise more than five-fold as the infection has not been wiped out of the blood supply like it has been in the food chain.
Frank Dobson, a former health secretary, tonight urged ministers to develop a nationwide screening programme for blood donors to stop future infections of vCJD, which has the potential to cause horrendous deaths.
People are no longer in danger of getting vCJD from eating British beef, after ministers ordered the slaughter of millions of cows when the mad cow disease scandal broke in 1989. Fears that hundreds of thousands of people could contract the human form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) proved unfounded.
However, the Government acknowledges that one in 2,000 Britons or approximately 30,000 people- are already silent carriers of infectious proteins that lead some people to develop vCJD.
could someone pleeeeeease tell me what is in the article
Be I'm so sorry about your son. That link is terrifying.
Well said, Mini.
How stupid can people be.
Beaaware knows much more about BSE than most other people and she is warning ignorant people about it for their own safety.
I`ve seen Beeware post on this subject often. Beeware, I am so sorry that you have lost your son to BSE.
I do agree that we dont know enough about BSE, as far as I know there is or van be a long incubation period, which is worrying. Is there current research going on now?
Good grief, I had no idea Beware had lost her son. How terrible.
The statement from the Dept of Health in the Telegraph story does look horribly complacent. It takes 15-20 years to incubate FFS of course we need to do everything we can to screen blood supplies! It would be an appalling tragedy if the current government caused another wave of suffering and terrible deaths by repeating the complacency of the last Tory govt.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.