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Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) has been confirmed in a resident of Saskatchewan, Canada (1). The patient, a man under the age of 50, was first notified to the Canadian national CJD surveillance system at Health Canada in April 2002 when his clinical presentation, age, and history of residence in the United Kingdom (UK) led Canadian doctors to suspect vCJD. Post-mortem examination of brain tissues by experts in Canada and the UK has now confirmed the diagnosis of vCJD. Since 1998, when the national CJD surveillance system was launched, all suspect cases of CJD are reported to Health Canada through a national network of specialist physicians. Incidence data are also shared with European and other allied countries as part of the Collaborative Study Group of CJD (EUROCJD, http://www.eurocjd.ed.ac.uk/euroindex.htm). This patient is the first case of vCJD reported in Canada, which together with 6 cases reported in France and one each in the Republic of Ireland, Italy and USA, brings the total number of cases with onset outside the UK to 10 (personal communication National CJD Surveillance Unit, Edinburgh).


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