Key dates surrounding the outbreak of variant Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease
in the UK.
vCJD is a fatal brain disease
1920s: Creutzfeld-Jacob disease identified.
1990: Surveillance of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) restarted to identify any changes in the disease after an epidemic of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle.
1990: John Gummer, then the Conservative agriculture minister, eats a hamburger with his daughter Cordelia to show that British beef is safe after the BSE outbreak.
May 1995: Stephen Churchill, aged 19, is the first Briton to die from vCJD - three others die from the disease that year.
1996: Scientists confirm the presence of a variant of CJD, vCJD. Later research points to it being linked to eating beef contaminated with BSE.
2000: Cases of vCJD peak, with 28 deaths reported.
October 2001: Health Secretary Alan Milburn announces details of compensation for those who have been diagnosed with vCJD and their families.
December 2003: His successor John Reid announces that a patient developed vCJD after receiving donor blood during a 1997 operation and died six years later.
The government bans anyone who had received a blood transfusion since January 1980 from donating blood in the future (implemented April 2004).
July 2004: Government announces a second probable case of vCJD transmission through a blood transfusion.
Britons who are unsure whether they have had a blood transfusion are banned from donating blood.
August 2004: It is announced patients are being recruited for the first clinical trial testing potential treatments for vCJD.
Deaths definitely or probably caused by vCJD stand at 142.