As of Dec. 1, 2003, 153 cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) were reported: 143 in the United Kingdom, 6 in France, and 1 each in Italy, Canada, Ireland, and the United States. Nearly all of the affected people had been in the UK between 1980 and 1996, during a large bovine spongiform encephalopathy outbreak.

Between 1997 and 2003, 731 cases of CJD – sporadic, familial and iatrogenic – were reported in the United States. The rate of deaths due to this type of CJD has remained relatively constant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the United Kingdom, 827 cases were reported between 1990 and April 2004.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UK Department of Health, National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center

- Christine Bahls

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