Fears as vCJD toll rises to 99

May 9, 2001 The Express

NINETY-nine people in Britain have now contracted vCJD, the human form of mad cow disease.

Figures published yesterday show an increase on the previous month of four cases of the incurable brain disease, which has claimed 86 lives.

Seven deaths said to be vCJD-related are awaiting test results and six people are thought to be dying from the illness.

But scientists say the lack of a reliable blood test means they cannot forecast the spread of the disease.

Professor Peter Smith, chairman of the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) which advises the Government on vCJD and BSE, said:

"It's a question of wait and see. Without a blood test it is going to be many years before we know."

However, last month the Daily Express reported scientists at the Roslin Institute in Scotland may be on the brink of discovering a test.

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