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Dublin: 22°C Tuesday 15 June 2021

Up to 20 people at risk from CJD contamination fears

Those patients will be contacted by the HSE today.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE HSE AND Beaumont Hospital has identified up to 20 patients who are at risk as a result of the CJD contamination fears that emerged last night.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, commonly known as CJD, is a very rare and fatal form of dementia that is not curable.

A case recently identified at the Dublin hospital and a follow-up review has indicated that other patients could be at risk from contaminated surgical instruments. The disease can be passed on through the equipment and there have been cases caused by infection via medical or surgical treatments. Normal sterilisation procedures are not sufficient and a more rigorous process is required when a patient with CJD has been operated on. However, there has been no incidence of transmission through surgical instruments in the past 30 years.

Speaking to Morning Ireland today, the HSE’s Head of Health Protection Dr Kevin Kelleher said the risk to the 20 identified patients is “slightly higher” than to those in the regular population.

Those patients will be contacted today by the hospital. A helpline has also been set up for anybody with concerns about the issue.

Over the past six years, between two and seven cases of CJD have been recorded each year.

The patient with CJD was operated on prior to his diagnosis in the past four weeks.

Read: Beaumont Hospital opens helpline after CJD fears

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