vCJD risk in the Republic of Ireland

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vCJD risk in the Republic of Ireland

BioMed Central
Publication Date
Nov 26, 2003
  • Mathematics

Abstract ral ss BioMed CentBMC Infectious Diseases Open AcceResearch article vCJD risk in the Republic of Ireland Michael S Harney*1,3, Azra C Ghani2, CA Donnelly2, Rory McConn Walsh3, Michael Walsh3, Rachel Howley1, Francesca Brett1 and Michael Farrell1 Address: 1CJD Surveillance Unit, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland, 2Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London, UK and 3Department of Otolaryngology, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland Email: Michael S Harney* - [email protected]; Azra C Ghani - [email protected]; CA Donnelly - [email protected]; Rory McConn Walsh - [email protected]; Michael Walsh - [email protected]; Rachel Howley - [email protected]; Francesca Brett - [email protected]; Michael Farrell - [email protected] * Corresponding author Abstract Background: The Republic of Ireland has the second highest incidence of BSE worldwide. Only a single case of vCJD has been identified to date. Methods: We estimate the total future number of clinical cases of vCJD using an established mathematical model, and based on infectivity of bovine tissue calculated from UK data and on the relative exposure to BSE contaminated meat. Results: We estimate 1 future clinical case (95% CI 0 – 15) of vCJD in the Republic of Ireland. Irish exposure is from BSE infected indigenous beef products and from imported UK beef products. Additionally, 2.5% of the Irish population was exposed to UK beef through residing in the UK during the 'at-risk' period. The relative proportion of risk attributable to each of these three exposures individually is 2:2:1 respectively. Conclusions: The low numbers of future vCJD cases estimated in this study is reassuring for the Irish population and for other countries with a similar level of BSE exposure. Background Public faith in the worldwide scientific community suf- fered significantly after the announcement in 1996 that a new variant form of CJD was affecting the British public [1]. This almost certainly arose

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