What is the threat of vCJD to Canadas blood system?
The risk is extremely low. Canadian Blood Services has measures in place to protect the blood system from vCJD because we treated it as if it was a threat well before there was scientific proof. This new case in the U.K. involving plasma proves that the precautionary steps Canadian Blood Services took based on the theoretical risk of vCJD being transmissible through blood were correct. While there have been over 180,000 cases of BSE identified in cattle in the U.K., France and Western Europe, to date there have been only fourteen cases that originated in Canadian cattle since 2004 (23,000 – 50,000 cattle tested per year). Two cattle have tested positive for BSE in the U.S. (over 100,000 cattle tested since September 2006). There has never been a reported human case of vCJD in Canada or the U.S. that originated in North America. There has been one human case in Canada, but the person was considered to have contracted the disease in the U.K. The three cases of vCJD reported in the U.S. w