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Around 13 Possibly Exposed to Rare Brain Disease via Contaminated Surgical Equipment

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Exposure to potentially contaminated surgical equipment used at a New Hampshire hospital has put at least 13 people at risk of developing a rare and fatal brain disease known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), state health officials announced Wednesday.

Eight neurosurgery patients in New Hampshire and five in other states were notified they may have shared equipment with a patient who died from CJD – a disabling, fatal disorder that attacks the nervous system. That patient is believed to have had a sporadic form of CJD, a disease that happens spontaneously. It is not connected to the variant form of CJD, otherwise known as “mad cow disease,” which occurs after a patient eats contaminated beef. The only way to diagnose the disease is through an autopsy, according to

The patients located in other states may have been exposed through contaminated surgical equipment, including rented equipment used in other states. Standard sterilization procedures are not enough to eliminate the prion – an infectious organism composed of mainly folds of protein – from equipment, reported.

About 1 in a million people are affected by CJD worldwide each year. Approximately 200 of those cases are diagnosed in the U.S. Early symptoms include rapidly failing memory and other cognitive problems, personality changes, anxiety, depression, lack of coordination and visual disturbances. In the later stages of the disease, patients experience jerky movements, blindness, weak limbs, and coma. There is no cure for CJD, according to disclaimer: This article: Around 13 Possibly Exposed to Rare Brain Disease via Contaminated Surgical Equipment was posted on Thursday, September 5th, 2013 at 6:48 pm at and is filed under Medical Malpractice Lawsuits, Personal Injury Lawsuits.

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