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A recent article on the incidence of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in Germany shows consistently low rates of disease between 1994 and 2001, at less than one case per million inhabitants (1). CJD is a predominantly sporadic disorder, distributed worldwide with a reported incidence of about one in a million per year. Figures for Germany are in line with most other European countries (see European and Allied Countries Collaborative Study Group of CJD (EUROCJD), http://www.eurocjd.ed.ac.uk) but contrast with neighbouring Switzerland where a marked rise was observed in 2001, corresponding to an incidence of 2.7 per million that year (2, see figure). Although differences in case ascertainment and raised awareness of the disease in recent years are likely to account for regional variations in reported rates of CJD, ongoing surveillance of CJD is essential to monitor the situation to see if the pattern is sustained, both in Europe and worldwide.


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