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Blood screening warning

24th September 2007

Variant CJD could become endemic in the UK unless blood screening is developed quickly, according to a leading expert.

Professor James Ironside, from the National CJD Surveillance Unit in Edinburgh, said the disease was still a major threat, despite a drop in deaths but fears the risk to the blood supply remains from unknown carriers infecting others through donating blood.

There have been 161 vCJD deaths since the disease emerged in early 1990 but Prof Ironside challenges the popular perception that the vCJD outbreak of the 1990s was an isolated threat to humans.

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