18 people reportedly exposed to incurable disease in N.C.

18 People Reportedly Exposed to Incurable Disease in N.C.
18 People Reportedly Exposed to Incurable Disease in N.C.

Eighteen people possibly exposed to a rare brain disease considered incurable and fatal - and it happened while they were being treated at a North Carolina hospital.

"Their surgeries were performed with instruments that were not properly sterilized, exposing them to a degenerative neurological disorder referred to as CJD." (Via KMBC)

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or CJD affects only one in every 1 million people worldwide and is fatal 100 percent of the time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The surgeries took place at Novnt Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. (Via Center for Disease Control)

The medical tools used to treat a patient who was positive for CJD were used on other patients over the course of three weeks. Now, those instruments were sterilized by the usual hospital standards, but the CDC recommends tools exposed to CJD be destroyed.

Hospital officials in Winston-Salem say the likelihood of these 18 patients actually contracting the disease are low. (Via WXIN)

According to CNN, "no cases of the disease have been linked to the use of contaminated medical equipment since 1976."

Fox News adds in the United States, "there have been only four reported cases of transmission via surgical instruments."

Whatever the odds, some patients are still understandably upset over the apparent mistake.

"I'm angry, very very angry that something so little could cost me my life." (Via Fox News)

What's worse, the disease reportedly could take years to show itself in a patient, so answers won't necessarily come anytime soon.