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Revealed: Plans to secretly test 30,000 NHS blood transfusion patients as CJD fears escalate


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Revealed: Plans to secretly test 30,000 NHS blood transfusion patients as CJD fears escalate By BEEZY MARSH Thousands of NHS patients could be secretly monitored by the Government for symptoms of the human form of mad cow disease amid concerns that there could be another wave of infections. Experts advising the Department of Health believe patients who have received more than 80 blood transfusions are most at risk of developing the fatal brain disease because it can be passed on through infected blood. They say monitoring these patients could give vital clues about the way the disease develops and is transmitted from person to person and could help work out whether there are likely to be further deaths. It could also inform officials whether the risk from blood donations needs to be treated more seriously. But they are considering conducting their surveillance secretly because they fear that informing patients they are at risk and are being monitored will cause unnecessary alarm. The proposals have been discussed by a powerful panel of leading scientists and doctors, which advises the Government on the disease, known as variant CJD.

79337=4445-article-2096643-11979F6B00000 Thousands of NHS patients could be secretly monitored by the Government for symptoms of the human form of mad cow disease amid concerns that there could be another wave of infections The panel's report, published online, suggests conducting 'covert health surveillance' of around 30,000 patients known to have received a high number of blood transfusions. Experts would expect to see at least 150 cases of vCJD in this group of patients, based on scientific evidence that between one in 4,000 and one in 20,000 of the population may be infected. But this has so far not been seen and may either mean the risk is lower than previously thought, or that it is taking longer for cases to develop. The 'highly transfused' group includes people suffering life-threatening illnesses including acute leukaemia, aplastic anaemia and the blood disorder thalassemia - as well as those with multiple injuries due to road accidents, or heavy blood loss from aneurysms. The report acknowledges that following patients without their consent is 'ethically problematic'. full article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2096643/Mad-Cow-Diesease-Plans-secretly-test-30-000-NHS-patients-CJD-fears-escalate.html

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