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13 Hospital Patients Exposed to Fatal ‘Mad Cow’ Disease

A surgical instrument was used on a patient with the disease


HealthcareSurgeon185According to health officials, more than a dozen patients in New England may have been exposed to a potentially lethal brain disease while undergoing surgery at two hospitals.

After surgical patient in New Hampshire began exhibiting signs of  (CJD), which is similar to Mad Cow disease, state health authorities traced the possible exposure to the disease to an instrument used during the procedure. On Thursday, Massachusetts public health officials indicated that the instrument was used in surgeries on five patients performed at a hospital in that state, Reuters noted.

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A spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health would not specify what the device was. The exposure may have resulted after the device was used on a patient who had CJD.

Eight patients in New Hampshire are thought to have been exposed to the disease through the tainted instrument. The Massachusetts patients face a lower risk since the instrument was used during spinal surgeries in that state.

CJD is a degenerative disease that causes memory failure, a loss of movement control, blindness. Scientists have not found a cure for the rare disease.

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