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Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)

Lab photoThe Division of Public Health Services, in collaboration with Catholic Medical Center (CMC) and the Manchester Health Department, is investigating potential exposure of 8 patients at CMC who may have had neurosurgery using equipment previously used on a patient now believed to have sporadic CJD. These 8 patients have been notified. There is no risk to the general public or other patients or staff at CMC or any other hospital.

Sporadic 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 any type of CJD each year. There are three different types of CJD:

  • Sporadic: The disease appears even though the patient has no known risk factors for it. It is caused by the spontaneous transformation of normal proteins into abnormal prions. Sporadic CJD is the most common type of CJD and accounts for at least 85 percent of cases.
  • Hereditary: The patient has a family history of CJD and/or tests positive for a genetic mutation associated with CJD. About 5-15% percent of cases of CJD in the United States are hereditary.
  • Acquired: This type is transmitted when a patient has exposure to brain or nervous system tissue, usually through medical procedures. This is the rarest form of CJD. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization, the risks of contracting CJD from a surgical instrument is extremely low. There have been only 4 confirmed cases in the world and none of these cases occurred in the US.

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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
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