A new case of variant-Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD ) associated with a blood transfusion has recently been diagnosed.
This latest patient has been diagnosed with vCJD about nine years after receiving a blood transfusion from a donor who later went on to develop vCJD. A transfusion from the same blood donor was also associated with one of the previously identified cases. The patient is still alive and is under specialist care.
This fourth case of vCJD infection associated with blood transfusion increases the concern about the risk of vCJD transmission between humans via blood transfusion. All four cases relate to the transfusion of blood components: no cases have been reported relating to treatment with plasma products.
The patient is one of a small number (less than 30) of living individuals who are known to have received a blood transfusion in the UK from a donor who later developed vCJD. All these individuals have previously been informed of their potential exposure to vCJD and asked to take certain precautions to reduce the chance of passing on vCJD to other people via healthcare procedures, such as surgery.
The Health Protection Agency has been in contact with doctors caring for the other patients who have been exposed to blood transfusions from donors who later developed vCJD. This is to ensure that they are informed of this new development and provide access to the latest information and specialist advice about their risk due to blood transfusion.