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Autopsy Confirms Patient Contracted Deadly Brain Disease

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Lauren Lopez4 years ago

An autopsy has confirmed suspicions that New Hampshire patients may have been exposed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease through tainted surgical equipment.

Patient Diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease during Autopsy

  • According to Fox News, public health officials confirmed Monday that a New Hampshire patient had a degenerative brain disease known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob. Other patients may have also been exposed to the disease through contact with surgical equipment.
  • The patient died in August with symptoms which health officials feared would be the disease, which is always fatal. 
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob is notably known for its rapid progression of dementia. A brain biopsy or autopsy is the only known way to confirm the disease.

Patients Notified about Possible Exposure to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

  • The patient underwent brain surgery in the Catholic Medical Center in Manchester nearly five months ago in May.
  • Eight other patients that were in the hospital at the time were informed that they may have potentially been exposed to the disease.
  • Exposure may have occurred through being operated on with the surgical tool that was used on the infected patient.
  • The same tools used on the infected patient were rented out in the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut.  Five others have been warned of potential contraction of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Symptoms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob
  • Though symptoms may take decades to appear, as soon as they do, the disease will rapidly progress and result in a certain death.
  • Symptoms consist of behavioral changes, memory loss, loss of coordination and other neurological issues.
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease will spontaneously occur in 90% of cases. The disease occurs when an agent that causes proteins in the brain to fold incorrectly.
  • According to the National Institutes of Health, there are only around 200 cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are reported per year in the United States. Only four cases of transmission though surgical tools have been reported, all of which were outside the U.S. Globally, the disease occurs in only one out of one-million people each year.
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