Massachusetts Health Officials Announce Five Additional People May Have Been Exposed to Brain Disease

The deadly, degenerative brain disease known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease has public health officials wary and on edge as they investigate the extent of possible exposure resulting from a neurosurgery at Catholic Medical Center in May. According to the Bay State officials, five Cape Cod hospital patients may have been exposed to a rare, fatal brain disease as a result of spinal surgery performed with a potentially contaminated specialized instrument that also exposed patients at a New Hampshire hospital. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced Thursday afternoon that five patients have been identified as being at low risk for exposure to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. According to the Boston Globe, “The risk of exposure from the instrument was first identified by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services after neurosurgeons at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester used the device in May on a patient who was subsequently found to likely have the disease. Eight patients were possibly exposed at the New Hampshire hospital when they had brain surgery using the same instrument.”