CJD variant kills 15th victim

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Another Briton has died of "new variant" Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (nv-CJD), the fatal illness which is linked to consumption of food contaminated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or "mad cow disease"and has so far affected 17 people in the United Kingdom.

The latest monthly figures, published yesterday by the CJD Surveillance Unit in Edinburgh, show that two people have died of nv-CJD this year, and a total of 15 since the disease was first identified about 18 months ago. Two people who have been diagnosed with the disease are still alive. Scientists cannot say how many people will be affected because the disease has a long incubation period, often of more than a decade.