Bad British blood on the loose

Blood products contaminated with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (the human equivalent of mad cow disease), including more than 85,000 doses of polio vaccine, have been exported from Britain to as many as 11 other countries, according to the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD.

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Thousands of patients worldwide, and an unknown number of hemophiliacs in Britain, might have received treatments with the products between 1996 and last year. Thirteen of the 94 confirmed cases of CJD in Britain were blood donors. Their blood, which went unscreened, has been used in transfusions for at least 23 other people.

CJD is rumored to have been spread in the US and Europe in the 1960s and 70s through human growth hormone injections derived from the brain tissue of cadavers, some of which apparently were infected with CJD.