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Mass. officials say 5 may be exposed brain disease

Associated Press

Publication: theday.com

Published September 05. 2013 5:00PM   Updated September 05. 2013 5:39PM

BOSTON  — The state health department says five patients in Massachusetts may have been exposed to a fatal brain disease from the same specialized surgical instrument used on a patient in New Hampshire.

The Massachusetts Department of Health said Thursday that the five patients had procedures this summer at Cape Cod Hospital. They are believed to be at low risk because they had spinal procedures and not brain surgery.

The DPH said the patients may have been exposed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

The health department said the five Massachusetts patients have been notified and counseled, and there is no risk to hospital staff or the general public.

New Hampshire officials said Wednesday eight people may have been exposed there to the rare disease believed to have caused the death of a brain surgery patient. It can survive standard sterilization procedures.

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