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Published On: Thu, Sep 5th, 2013

New Hampshire patient dies from suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, others may have been exposed

Health officials in New Hampshire have announced that a neurosurgery patient that has died is suspected to have had the prion disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), and warn that at least eight other patients may have also been exposed to lethal disease.

New Hampshire Image/National Atlas of the United States

New Hampshire
Image/National Atlas of the United States

The patient, who had the surgery at the Catholic Medical Center (CMC) in Manchester, is to have an autopsy at the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center to confirm the diagnosis.

According to The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the patient is believed to have sporadic CJD, meaning it happens spontaneously with no known cause.

Health officials note that this is not the same as variant CJD, also known by the nickname “mad cow disease,” which is transmitted by eating contaminated beef.

According to health officials, the 8 patients were potentially exposed through neurosurgical equipment, because the prion that causes sporadic CJD is not eradicated by the standard sterilization process mandated at hospitals. CMC has notified all of these patients about their potential risk. The general public and any other patients at CMC and their employees are not at any risk.

“The risk to these individuals is considered extremely low,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS, “but after extensive expert discussion, we could not conclude that there was no risk, so we are taking the step of notifying the patients and providing them with as much information as we can. Our sympathies are with all of the patients and their families, as this may be a confusing and difficult situation.”

According to the Associated Press, Dr. Joseph Pepe, president of CMC, said officials are 95 percent certain that a patient who had brain surgery in May and died in August had sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

“Our concern is with the health and well-being of the eight patients who may have been exposed to CJD,” says Dr. Pepe,  “We will work closely with these families to help them in any way possible, even though the risk of infection is extremely low.”

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare and fatal disease that affects the nervous system and causes deterioration of the brain. It affects about one in a million people each year worldwide. In the United States, only about 200 people are diagnosed with CJD each year.

In the early stages of CJD, the patient may have rapidly failing memory and other cognitive difficulties. These symptoms become worse much faster than with other more common types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Other symptoms can include personality changes including anxiety and depression, lack of coordination, and visual disturbances. As the illness progresses, mental deterioration becomes pronounced and involuntary movements such as sudden jerky movements, blindness, weakness of extremities, and coma may occur. There is no treatment or cure.

More details on CJD

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He regularly writes about infectious disease news for Examiner.com and administers the Outbreak News section of The Global Dispatch.

Displaying 6 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. […] a follow-up to a story Sept. 5, a Catholic Medical Center neurosurgery patient who was suspected of dying from the prion […]

  2. Terry says:

    Sunday, September 08, 2013

    Iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease via surgical instruments and decontamination possibilities for the TSE prion

    http://creutzfeldt-jakob-disease.blogspot.com/2013/09/iatrogenic-creutzfeldt-jakob-disease.html

    kind regards,
    terry

  3. […] NewsNew Hampshire hospital contacts 8 patients who may have been exposed to …Fox NewsNew Hampshire patient dies from suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, others …The Global Dispatchall 122 news […]

  4. […] New Hampshire patient dies from suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, others …The Global DispatchThese symptoms become worse much faster than with other more common types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Other symptoms can include personality changes including anxiety and depression, lack…New Hampshire patient dies from suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, others … – The Glob… […]

  5. Tuesday, July 31, 2012

    11 patients may have been exposed to fatal disease Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease CJD Greenville Memorial Hospital

    http://creutzfeldt-jakob-disease.blogspot.com/2012/07/11-patients-may-have-been-exposed-to.html

    Thursday, August 02, 2012

    CJD case in Saint John prompts letter to patients Canada CJD case in Saint John prompts letter to patients

    http://creutzfeldt-jakob-disease.blogspot.com/2012/08/cjd-case-in-saint-john-prompts-letter.html

    Thursday, January 17, 2013

    TSE guidance, surgical, dental, blood risk factors, Part 4 Infection control of CJD, vCJD and other human prion diseases in healthcare and community settings (updated January 2013)

    http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2013/01/tse-guidance-surgical-dental-blood-risk.html

    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    Late-in-life surgery associated with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: a methodological outline for evidence-based guidance

    http://creutzfeldt-jakob-disease.blogspot.com/2013/05/late-in-life-surgery-associated-with.html

    Sunday, June 9, 2013

    TSEAC March 14, 2013: Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies Advisory Committee Meeting Webcast

    http://tseac.blogspot.com/2013/06/tseac-march-14-2013-transmissible.html

    Friday, August 16, 2013

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) biannual update August 2013 U.K. and Contaminated blood products induce a highly atypical prion disease devoid of PrPres in primates

    http://creutzfeldt-jakob-disease.blogspot.com/2013/08/creutzfeldt-jakob-disease-cjd-biannual.html

    Sunday, August 11, 2013

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease CJD cases rising North America updated report August 2013

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease CJD cases rising North America with Canada seeing an extreme increase of 48% between 2008 and 2010

    http://creutzfeldt-jakob-disease.blogspot.com/2013/08/creutzfeldt-jakob-disease-cjd-cases.html

    Sunday, September 1, 2013

    Evaluation of the Zoonotic Potential of Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy

    We previously described the biochemical similarities between PrPres derived from L-BSE infected macaque and cortical MM2 sporadic CJD: those observations suggest a link between these two uncommon prion phenotypes in a primate model (it is to note that such a link has not been observed in other models less relevant from the human situation as hamsters or transgenic mice overexpressing ovine PrP [28]). We speculate that a group of related animal prion strains (L-BSE, c-BSE and TME) would have a zoonotic potential and lead to prion diseases in humans with a type 2 PrPres molecular signature (and more specifically type 2B for vCJD)

    snip…

    Together with previous experiments performed in ovinized and bovinized transgenic mice and hamsters [8,9] indicating similarities between TME and L-BSE, the data support the hypothesis that L-BSE could be the origin of the TME outbreaks in North America and Europe during the mid-1900s.

    http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2013/09/evaluation-of-zoonotic-potential-of.html

  6. […] New Hampshire patient dies from suspected Creutzf…The Global DispatchHealth officials in New Hampshire have announced that a neurosurgery patient that has died is suspected to have had the prion disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), and warn that at least eight other patients may have also been exposed to lethal …NH patients possibly exposed to fatal brain diseaseBoston GlobeAs many as 13 may have been exposed to rare brain disease that killed NH patientFox News13 patients possibly exposed to fatal brain diseaseUSA TODAYCBS News -CNNall 44 news articles […]

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