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Thursday, 22 January, 1998, 13:38 GMT
Hong Kong CJD alert

The authorities in Hong Kong say medical kits used for carrying out tests on one-hundred-and-eleven patients may have been contaminated with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease -- the human equivalent of mad cow disease.

A health authority spokesman said the kits had now been withdrawn and the patients involved contacted, but he said it was extremely unlikely they could have been infected.

He said there had been no confirmed case anywhere of CJD transmission through blood products.

The test kits contain a fluid injected into patients before a body scan.

The alert was raised by the British suppliers, after a donor in Britain, whose blood was used in the preparation of the kits, died from CJD.

It's the latest in a series of problems at Hong Kong hospitals, which the BBC correspondent there says are undermining public confidence in the health care system.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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