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September 25, 1996

Surveillance for Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease—United States

JAMA. 1996;276(12):938-939. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540120016009

1 figure, 1 table omitted CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB disease (CJD) in humans and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle are subacute degenerative diseases of the brain classified as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. BSE was first identified in 1986 in the United Kingdom (UK), where an epizootic involving >155 000 cattle appeared to have been greatly amplified by exposure of calves to contaminated rendered cattle carcasses in the form of meat and bone meal nutritional supplements.1 On March 20,1996, an expert advisory committee to the government of the UK (1995 estimated population: 58.3 million) announced its conclusion that the agent responsible for BSE might have spread to humans, based on recognition of 10 persons with onset of a reportedly new variant form of CJD* during February 1994-October 1995. The 10 persons ranged in age from 16 to 39 years (median age at illness onset: 28 years); of the eight persons who