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Scientists raise concerns about second wave of 'mad cow' prion infection

WHAT:
Leaders in science, public policy and public health will discuss the "hidden" nature of TSEs, specifically "mad cow" disease and vCJD, its human form, at an Evening Symposium at the annual AABB blood conference in Baltimore on Monday, October 25. (The Symposium is particularly timely in light of news from France that the blood of a frequent donor, identified as the country's eighth victim of vCJD, was used for transfusions to 10 people and in the manufacture of medicines.)

  • They will present information suggesting that vCJD is not a disease in decline but in a period of incubation with the possibility of a global second wave.
  • The human-to-human threat may increase with recent evidence of at least two UK recipients of prion-infected blood transfusions from asymptomatic donors who later died of vCJD and analyses of the disease's probable amplification around the world, as the news from France may suggest.
  • New data on technology to prevent transfusion-transmitted prions is being presented.

WHEN/WHERE:

  • Scientific presentation - Monday, Oct. 25, 2:45 pm, Baltimore Convention Center, Rm. 349/350.
  • Symposium - Monday evening, Oct. 25, 7:00 pm, Marriott Waterfront Hotel, Grand Ballroom 7. Sponsored by Pall Corporation. RSVP*
  • Limited phone-in capabilities - must be reserved. Contact B&Y Communications.*
  • Contact B&Y* for background information, to schedule interviews.

WHO:
David M. Asher, MD. Supervisory Medical Officer, Division of Emerging and Transfusion-Transmitted Diseases, Office of Blood Research and Review, US Food and Drug Administration: Current status of TSEs in the US, update on surveillance and precautionary measures.

Roger Eglin, PhD. Head of National Transfusion Microbiology Laboratories, National Blood Service, England: Potential for a second wave of vCJD, its asymptomatic nature and long incubation, impact of do
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Contact: Laura Constable
laurac@bycommunications.com
973-746-8183
Pall Corporation
22-Oct-2004


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