Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (CJD) is an untreatable brain disease affecting one in one million people each year. It is thankful that CJD is rare, because it is often regarded as the human version of "mad cow" disease, quickly transforming healthy brain proteins into unhealthy cells. This is what makes news from a North Carolina hospital so disturbing.
The Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center recently warned 18 patients that they may have been exposed to Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease through surgical equipment.
Surgical tools can spread CJD if they make contact with an infected patient's brain tissue and are not subsequently sterilized under the highest standard. For some reason, hospitals often sterilize brain surgery equipment under a "normal" standard that does not prevent the spread of CJD via surgery.