Tuesday, March 9


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services are now officially examining the apparent cluster of CJD cases centered around the former Garden State Race Track in Cherry Hill. Janet Skarbek now has a list of at least eight and possibly 13 deaths from CJD in people known to have frequented the track. Steve Mitchell mentions the recent scientific discovery of a new form of CJD that mimics the sporadic form, and notes this interesting factoid: "One racetrack employee, Carrie Mahan, 29, died from a mysterious condition in 2000 that initially appeared to be vCJD. Subsequent tests, however, ruled out both vCJD and sporadic CJD, and it remains unclear exactly what killed Mahan. But at least one expert, Dr. Omar Bagasra, a biologist at Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C., suspected it could be a new strain of CJD related to mad cow-infected meat." Well, with one area developing at least twice the number of cases that could be explained by chance, it's gotta be something. Here's hoping these two agencies honestly work out the answer and provide it to us.

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