Possible Rare Fatal Disease Detected at Washington Regional in Arkansas

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Today-s Top Medical News - March 10- 2016_54706050-159532

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.(KNWA)–A national laboratory in Chantilly, VA has confirmed a preliminary diagnosis of an extremely rare condition from a patient at Washington Regional, according to Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville.

The disease, known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, was pulled from a diagnostic lumbar puncture of a patient from WRMC on February 15.

According to WRMC, CJD is a degenerative brain disease that is fatal.  It is not the variant of the condition also known as “mad cow disease.”

WRMC infectious disease specialist James Newton, M.D., says it is an extremely unlikelihood of any other patients being affected by this rare condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta advises that there has not been a single reported case of CJD transmitted by surgical instruments, according to WRMC.

For extended safety concerns, WRMC shut down the operating rooms and conducted thorough sterilization and replacement of surgical instruments. WRMC will reopen the operating rooms.

“We continue to seek the best available guidance and information from the CDC, the Arkansas Department of Health and the medical literature,” Dr. Newton says. “The extreme rarity of this disease and the nature of the potential exposure, which is so small it cannot be quantified, make it a challenge to find published guidelines that are applicable to our situation. Nevertheless, we are committed to finding and sharing with our patients the best available advice.”

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