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Last Updated: Friday, 6 August, 2004, 07:37 GMT 08:37 UK
Timeline: vCJD in the UK
CJD slide
vCJD is a fatal brain disease
Key dates surrounding the outbreak of variant Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease in the UK.

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.

Second case of vCJD 'via blood'
22 Jul 04  |  Health
Thousands may be harbouring vCJD
21 May 04  |  Health

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