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Projections of both the short- and long-term course of the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) epidemic in Great Britain have demonstrated great uncertainty due to the lack of knowledge of key aspects of the biology and epidemiology of this new disease. Such projections are sensitive to assumptions made regarding the pattern of exposure to BSE-infected animals, the effectiveness of control measures introduced in 1989 and 1996 in reducing this exposure, the functional form of the incubation period distribution and patterns of age-dependent susceptibility/exposure. This paper provides short-term projections for vCJD onsets using the time- and age-distributed onset data to the end of 2000, with results that are directly comparable to the other papers in this issue. These results demonstrate the continued uncertainty in the future scale of this disease.

Original publication




Journal article


Statistical methods in medical research

Publication Date





191 - 201


Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London, UK.


Animals, Cattle, Humans, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome, Encephalopathy, Bovine Spongiform, Likelihood Functions, Disease Outbreaks, Environmental Exposure, Food Contamination, Age of Onset, Age Distribution, Time Factors, Forecasting, United Kingdom