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01 Jan 2002 00:00
A 27-year-old Uitenhage man diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (CJD) does not pose any public health threat, Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said on Friday.
She assured South Africans that there were no public health risks or agricultural implications that could be associated with the man’s case.
Tshabalala-Msimang said CJD was a progressive, fatal disease of the brain due to an infectious agent called prion which consisted of abnormally folded protein.
“Based on the clinical grounds and other tests that have been done, the diagnosis in the Uitenhage patient is that of classical CJD and not new vibrant CJD (or so called mad cow disease).”
She said most probably the patient acquired the disease from a human cadaveric graft which had been associated with a number of cases of classical CJD worldwide.
All these cases were traced back to grafts produced by a company in Germany and the company stopped producing the grafts in 1996.
“It must be stressed that these are human grafts, not bovine (cow) grafts,” she said.
Representative for the Cuyler Clinic Gloria Murison said the man’s condition remained unchanged.
“He is still in a critical condition,” Murison said.
Murison said the patient’s relatives were with him around the clock. - Sapa
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