What are the symptoms of vCJD?
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern about this terrible disease.
The manifestations of vCJD are related to a progressive mental decline, meaning changes in personality, depression, impaired memory and judgement, vision issues etc. Symptoms progress over months leading to profound dementia, often with manifestation of sudden jerky movements (called myoclonus) and as they lose their higher mental functions and become unable to take care by themselves patients usually die from infectious complications due to immobilization.
Such manifestations are not specific, meaning they may manifest in many other types of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease being the most common. However in vCJD evolution is usually much more rapid, there are also characteristic changes on EEG and on brain biopsy.
Also one additional remark, looking at your age, vCJD usually happens in young individuals under 50, so if you are asking for yourself at 88 it would be really unlikely.
As for the question on whether all those who contact it die, the mechanisms of transmission is not fully elucidated although there are strong indication of being related to consumption of meat from infected animals or rarely blood transfusion. So as a result exact percentages or degree of exposure needed to develop disease is not known. However I would safely say that not all who contact it develop the disease as otherwise the number of cases would be much much higher. If one develops the disease though it is invariably fatal.
I hope to have been of help.
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