CJD – The Disease that Caused a National Panic

During the 1970’S Britain unwittingly started proceedings which unleashed a deadly man-made disease on its own population. The country that was starting to recover from the austerity measures of the Second World war, was facing a high public demand for meat – the solution? A progressive new feed for cattle containing bone meal – made from the carcasses of other cattle and would enable them to grow faster, therefore producing more meat.

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Pleasing farmers and consumers alike, this new way of feeding was touted as the future of farming, and everyone was happy with it. Until 1985, when there was an outbreak of a disease known as BSE (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy) on a farm in Wiltshire. It is still not known where the disease came from, but it spread quickly around the country – and still the infected cattle parts were ground into bone meal.

Life continued as normal, until in 1996 it was announced that there was a link between the disease BSE and the human disease CJD – or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

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CJD is a form of dementia – it progresses rapidly in comparison to other forms of dementia, and sufferers will end up needing specialist care at a place like this care home Weston Super Mare.

To date, this variant form of CJD has killed close to 200 people, and it is estimated that one in 2000 people are carriers of the disease, which can lay dormant for many years.

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