Published On: Tue, Sep 24th, 2013

New Hampshire patient confirmed positive for Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)

In a follow-up to a story Sept. 5, a Catholic Medical Center neurosurgery patient who was suspected of dying from the prion disease,  Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), has tested positive for the disease, according to a  New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) press release.

Human brain Image/NIH

Human brain

The CJD was confirmed by the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center at Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio.

More than a dozen other neurosurgery patients in three states–Massachusetts and Connecticut in addition to New Hampshire, may have been exposed to CJD through neurosurgical equipment because the prion that causes sporadic CJD is not eradicated by the standard sterilization process mandated at hospitals.

“Though we are not surprised by the test results,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS, “we are saddened by the toll this disease takes on families and our sympathies go out to all those affected.”

“Our focus and concern continues to be with the patients who may have been exposed to CJD,” said Dr. Joseph Pepe, M.D., President & CEO of CMC. This afternoon we have reached out to our 8 patients to let them know about the autopsy results. We let them know we will continue to help and support them and to monitor their health going forward even though the risk is extremely low that any of these patients was infected.”

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.

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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 is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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