WHO fact sheet on Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: includes
key facts, definition, epidemiology, cause, protective measures, WHO response.
- Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) is a rare and fatal human neurodegenerative condition.
- The consumption of food of bovine origin contaminated with the agent of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), a disease of cattle, has been strongly linked to the occurrence of vCJD in humans.
- 175 cases of vCJD were reported in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (United Kingdom), and 49 cases in other countries from October 1996 to March 2011.
- Following the successful containment of the BSE epidemic in cattle, the number of cases of vCJD in the United Kingdom has declined since 2000.
Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) is a rare and fatal human neurodegenerative condition which is classified as a Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE) because of its ability to be transmitted and the characteristic spongy degeneration of the brain that it causes.
vCJD was first described in the United Kingdom in March 1996 and has been linked with exposure to a TSE of cattle called Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also known as Classical BSE1, which was first reported in the United Kingdom in 1986.
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