Czech Republic - First
Case Of nvCJD

From Patricia Doyle, PhD

ProMed Mail
From: Akira Goto Source: News web-site "Czech Happenings" July 10, 2003 [edited]
Czech Republic: Woman Dies of Suspected New Variant Creutzfeldt-jakob Disease
A 46-year-old woman, who has been hospitalised in the Hradec Kralove Teaching Hospital, east Bohemia, since April 2003, apparently died of new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease [abbreviated as CJD (new var.) or vCJD in ProMED-mail], the fatal brain-wasting illness. New variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease is the human form of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The information, carried by Czech Television today, was confirmed by the Chief Doctor of the Hradec Kralove hospital's neurological clinic, Radomir Talab.
"The woman showed signs of mental disorder and involuntary movements of the limbs, and the electroencephalograph tests which have been performed recorded signs characteristic of [new variant?] Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease," Talab said. The Hradec Kralove doctors sent the woman to Prague's Thomayer Hospital for observation, but specialists there did not confirm the diagnosis. "They maintained that they were the signs of another illness," Talab said. Finally, the woman was transferred in the middle of June 2003 to a hospital in Sedlcany, east Bohemia, where she died several days later.
"Tissue samples that could not be taken when the patient was still alive for safety reasons have been examined by specialists from Prague's Thomayer Hospital, who will also make the definitive diagnosis," Talab said, adding that the results could be known in about 3-4 weeks after the tissue samples were taken.
The woman suspected of having new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease had been treated in an intensive care ward, and according to Talab, no danger of infection for other patients and the staff was imminent. "In addition, she was treated under the so-called protective regime, which means that all materials used in her treatment such as syringes, for instance, were immediately destroyed without anyone coming into contact with them," Talab said. If lab tests confirm the diagnosis, it will be the first case of this disease in the Czech Republic.
Many experts believe bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the formal name for the cattle disease, can be transmitted to people who eat meat from infected animals. More than 100 people in Britain, France, and Ireland have died from new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease since the mid-1990s, mostly in Britain, where the first case of BSE was detected in 1986. Since the beginning of July 2003, 5 cases of mad cow disease have been detected in the Czech Republic.
-- Akira Goto Pediatrician <>
[The diagnosis of this patient's illness was disputed while she was still alive, and the outcome of laboratory testing of tissue samples taken after the death of the patient is still awaited. Consequently this report must be treated with caution. The report contains no information which supports a diagnosis of vCJD as opposed to any other form of CJD. The detection of BSE in cattle in the Czech Republic clearly indicates that the potential for human cases of vCJD exists, and fatal cases of CJD-like neurological illness must be carefully evaluated. Further information on the accuracy of the diagnosis would be appreciated. - Mod.CP]
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message board at: Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa Go with God and in Good Health



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