WASHINGTON, Mar 09, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- U.S. and New Jersey officials are investigating a potential cluster of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease cases in a southern part of the state, UPI has learned.
Members of Congress have recently put pressure on both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services to look into as many as 13 CJD cases a private resident has identified in people that worked or attended events at the Garden State racetrack in Cherry Hill, now being demolished.
Both agencies have previously denied there was a cluster of CJD cases in the state, but on Feb. 25 Dr. Eddy A. Bresnitz, the state epidemiologist at the Department of Health, sent an e-mail message to a Senate aide that was obtained by UPI, saying his department, along with the CDC, was investigating the cases.
One form of CJD has been linked to mad cow disease, but so far all the N.J. cases appear to be due to a spontaneously occurring form of the disease known as sporadic CJD. Still, it would be an unusually high number of cases for a rare disorder that is thought to occur at about a rate of one case per million people.
New Jersey authorities deny congressional pressure influenced their decision to investigate the cases.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.