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…there is no commercial blood test for vCJD that can identify contaminated blood or organ donations and (that) the prion protein can survive existing sterilisation procedures used to clean surgical instruments.
Andrew Miller MP, the chairman of the committee, said that he and his colleagues were “extremely concerned” to hear that this incurable disease, which has so far killed 177 people, still poses a significant risk to public health.
“Although the risk of developing the disease as a result of eating contaminated beef was long ago eliminated, it is possible that the infection could still be unwittingly spread through medical procedures,” Mr Miller said.
Surgery Linked to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
…"Based on the monitoring records of spongiform encephalopathy in two Nordic countries, we studied the possibility of transmission of the sporadic form of CJD through general surgery," explains Jesús de Pedro, main author of the study and head of prion monitoring in patients at the National Epidemiology Centre of the Carlos III Health Institute.
The finding, published recently in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, reveals that, with a few exceptions, the risk of having contracted the sporadic form of CJD manifests itself at least 20 years after having undergone an operation.
...We might, therefore, ask ourselves if other types of motor neuron diseases can be transmitted through surgery and be latent for decades, such as those where risk factors, particularly physical professions and activities or certain sporting activities, for example, which are more likely to lead to surgery, have already been indicated.