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Estimation of Epidemic Size and Incubation Time Based on Age Characteristics of vCJD in the United Kingdom

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Science  23 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5547, pp. 1726-1728
DOI: 10.1126/science.1066838

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Abstract

The size of the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) epidemic in the United Kingdom is a major public health concern and a subject of speculation. The cases are young (mean age = 28). Assuming that the risk of developing the disease in susceptible exposed subjects decreases exponentially with age after age 15, that all infections occurred between 1980 and 1989, and that the distribution of the incubation period is lognormal, we estimate that the mean duration of the incubation period is 16.7 years [95% confidence interval (CI): 12.4 to 23.2] and that the total number of cases will be 205 (upper limit of the 95% CI: 403).

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