News FocusInfectious Diseases

Uncertainties Plague Projections of vCJD Toll

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Science  26 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5543, pp. 770-771
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5543.770

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Although an estimated 750,000 BSE-infected cattle were eaten by humans between about 1980 and 1996, no one knows how many people actually became infected, nor how long it takes for an infected person to become sick. Now two mathematical models of the epidemic, one of which was published online this week by Science (, have come up with very different results. Researchers may soon know if one of them is right.