Rule out of variant CJD as the cause of death of a Virginia resident
Recently, the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center (NPDPSC) ruled out the presence of variant CJD (vCJD) as the cause of death of a young Virginia woman who died earlier this year. Although this suspected case received international media attention, NPDPSC determined that the cause of death was not due to vCJD.
As of June 2008, the total number of vCJD cases identified in residents of the United States is three; all of which were epidemiologically linked to likely exposures to cattle products contaminated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, commonly known as “mad cow disease”)while residing in the United Kingdom (2 cases) or Saudi Arabia (1 case).
The NPDPSC was established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in collaboration with the American Association of Neuropathologists for the purpose of enhancing national surveillance of human prion diseases such as classic CJD and vCJD. US physicians are encouraged to utilize the diagnostic services of the NPDPSC to confirm all clinically suspected and diagnosed cases of CJD and vCJD. For additional information about the NPDPSC and how to submit diagnostic specimens, consult www.CJDSurveillance.com.