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Mad Cow Disease Scare

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New concerns over the possible spread of a deadly brain disease known as "CJD." It impacts only one in a million people, but health officials say patients in several hospitals in the U.S. may have accidentally been exposed.
Marci Gonzalez reports.

A major scare for more than a dozen people learning - they *may have contracted a rare, deadly brain disease - as they underwent surgery.
8 - were patients at this hospital in manchester, new hampshire...where the potential problem began...doctors explain - in may- they did brain surgery on a man - they didn't know had Sporadic Creurtzfeldt-Jakob Disease - known as CJD.

Dr. Jose Montero,"There was no diagnosis at the time the equipment was used." The equipment used --*was sterilized...but standard sterilization doesn't
kill *this disease...meaning when the surgical instruments were reused on other patients, *they could have been exposed.

Dr. Joseph Pepe -"the risk is close to zero, but it's not zero." exterior ws's of the hospital.

Much like mad cow disease- CJD impacts the nervous system and causes rapid brain deterioration...but *CJD-- has no known cause. As Robert Blodgett learned after his sister, shirley contracted it 14 years ago...there is no treatment, or cure..and it usually kills within months, "its fast. its dementia in fast forward."

Now, the 8 New Hampshire patients - and five others who could have been exposed when that same equipment was reused in other hospitals - just wait.
At this stage - since none have shown symptoms - there is no way to test them for the deadly disease.

Dr. Besser, "for these 8 people, they don't know if they were infected they don't know if they are a ticking time bomb."

Doctor Richard Besser stresses - that the risk of contracting CJD-- for these patients - or anyone undergoing surgery is *extremely rare..it hasn't been transmitted through surgery he says - in more than 35 years.



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