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12GTHBY1 - Infectious Disease: vCJD

This unit explores the causes and spread of disease and how humans respond to invading pathogens. Disease is caused by various pathogens that are transmitted between individuals and populations in many different ways.


Online encyclopaedias are great for short, concise and correct information.  Don't forget CTRL F to scan around a page quickly. Remember you are interested in variant CJD (vCJD).


Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD):

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Magazine article

New Scientist - Curtain falls on mad cow disease The article focuses on the near-eradication of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and suspicions that cases of the human-equivalent, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), may occur in the future. It states only 17 cases of BSE, which is caused by prions, were recorded worldwide in 2010. It mentions that 170 people have died of vCJD worldwide from 1996-2011 and comments on fears of future outbreaks due to similarities with the prion disease kuru which results from ritualistic cannibalism.


Surveillance and controlEstablishing global surveillance for the containment and prevention of new BSE epidemics is an essential first step in determining the extent of the problem of vCJD at a global level. However, at present only the wealthiest countries have extensive surveillance activities for BSE and vCJD in place. 

Online database

EBSCOhost online database: Offers a broad range of full text and bibliographic databases designed for research. Check the recent newspaper and magazine articles from Australia regarding Variant CJD.


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Australia’s response to the first case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD)- A Guide for doctors and health care workers:  The Australian Government has developed a contingency plan to deal with the possibility of vCJD being detected in Australia. The vCJD Response Plan for Australia outlines how the health system may respond should a case of vCJD be diagnosed in Australia and includes an infection control guideline for vCJD. The Response Plan can be accessed through the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing web site (


Dark green areas are countries that have confirmed human cases of variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and light green are countries that have bovine spongiform encephalopathy cases.


Mixed media - YouTube


Reference generator

It is important that you show your teacher you used a variety of reliable resources. Use the online Reference Generator available through the Portal to create your citations. Make sure you alphabetically sort them afterwards.

A sample bibliography for 3 resources provided on this page would look like:

Coghlan, A 2011, 'Curtain falls on mad cow disease', New Scientist, 209, 2797, p. 01, Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre, EBSCOhost, viewed 16 June 2016.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) 2016. Britannica School. Retrieved 17 June 2016, from

Prion Disease n.d., Chart, Pinterest, accessed 17 June 2016, <