Saturday 19 January 2019

CJD fear as father of two dies after battling mystery illness for a year

HEALTH chiefs have insisted they have received no recent notification of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) – despite reports a middle-aged man has died of the lethal brain condition.

One form of CJD is commonly known as human Mad Cow disease. The man – who is a UK national of Asian extraction – died in Cork University Hospital (CUH) last week. He had been undergoing treatment for several weeks for a neurological condition. The father of two, who was in his late 40s, had been living in the Cork area for the past decade and had married an Irish woman.

The victim, who worked in the transport sector, had first complained of feeling unwell last year. Amongst the symptoms he complained of was a slurring of the speech and repeated bouts of dizziness and tiredness. Yesterday, it was claimed by a family friend that, in the final stages of his illness, doctors began investigating whether his condition may have involved a form of CJD. A full post mortem examination was conducted following the man’s death and it is understood that it will be another fortnight before all laboratory results are available.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) stressed that it has not received any formal notification of a detection of CJD. There are two forms of the disease – classic and variant. The latter is believed to be linked to BSE or Mad Cow disease which, in turn, is believed to have been caused by cattle ingesting feedstuffs which included brain and spinal offal. Ireland has recorded just four cases of variant CJD since 1996 and seven cases of classic CJD since 2008. hnews@herald.ie

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