A Leicestershire village is the subject of a major investigation after three deaths within 12 weeks from the deadly human form of mad cow disease have been linked to the village.

According to local health officials all three deaths have been linked to the village of Queniborough and according toJunior Health Minister Lord Hunt the cases are unlikely to be a statistical quirk.

Lord Hunt also confirmed there had been four definite cases and a probable case of the new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (vCJD) in the county.

Support Groups for CJD victims have welcomed the investigation that will include officials from the National CJD Surveillance Unit who will work closely with the Department of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture to determine if people in the area are more susceptible to the disease.

In 1997, seven people in Kent died of CJD and vCJD, near to where the UK’s first BSE herd was discovered in 1985 and the most recent statistics by the Department of Health show there have now been 74 victims of vCJD.

Two deaths have also been confirmed in France and one in Ireland.
Mentally and degenerative, symptoms of CJD are slurred speech, depression, blurred vision and eventually loss of limb control over the entire body and, as yet CJD cannot be cured.

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