Four child victims of mad cow disease

Four child victims of mad cow disease

June 26, 2001 The Mirror by Oonagh Blackman

FOUR children under 16 have died or are dying from the human form of mad cow disease, experts in Britain revealed yesterday

A scientific report to be published early next week will show more people have fallen victim to variant CJD in the north east of England and in Scotland than in the rest of Britain.

A 14-year-old girl is currently being treated for the disease and another 14 -year-old is undergoing tests.

A third youngster under 16 has been identified by the government's special paediatric CJD surveillance unit and it is believed a 12-year-old has already died.

Scientists and medical experts fear beef products fed to babies and schoolchildren in the 1980s may be responsible for the outbreak.

Head of the surveillance unit in Edinburgh Dr Robert Will said: "It is very distressing to think of people in this age group getting that terrible disease at all.

"We have a paediatric surveillance unit to investigate cases of children under 16. There were three last year and now there are four."

Fears are now growing that the disease is spreading faster than before.

The 16 people already identified this year as having CJD have brought the total number to 102 - and only eight of them are still alive.

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