Infectious Diseases

Probable Case of Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in Hong Kong

A 65 year old man has reportedly succumbed to what is being stated to be sporadic Creutzfeldt Jakob disease according to a report in Outbreak News Today.

The report states:

He presented with dizziness since August 2014 and developed onset of cognitive decline since September 21, 2014. He was admitted to a public hospital on September 22, 2014. Subsequently, he developed rapidly progressive dementia, cerebellar disturbance and extrapyramidal dysfunction.Findings from magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and electroencephalography were suggestive of CJD. He was classified as a probable case of sporadic CJD. He had no known family history of CJD. No risk factors for iatrogenic or variant CJD were identified.His condition continued to deteriorate and he succumbed on January 5, 2015.

CJD is a disease caused by infectious, mis-folded proteins called prions. Other similar diseases in this category include kuru, Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker (GSS) syndrome, and fatal familial insomnia. Unfortunately, as seen in the case of this victim, these diseases, which are classified under Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE) are rapidly fatal and most patients succumb within one year of being diagnosed.

Skeptic Oslerphile. PhD Student in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Past: 1) Public Health Scientist and Program Manager, Translational Global Health Policy Research Cell, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. 2) Scientist, Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases; 3) Senior Research Associate, Public Health Foundation of India. Interests include: Emerging Infections, Public Health, Antimicrobial Resistance, One Health and Zoonoses, Diarrheal Diseases, Medical Education, Medical History, Open Access, Healthcare Social Media and Health2.0. Opinions are my own!

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