Boston: Connecticut said on Friday that two patients who recently underwent surgery at a VA Hospital may have been exposed to a rare brain disease, adding to 13 people already reported at risk in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.The potential for exposure is believed to be the result of doctors using the same surgical instruments on several different patients. Those instruments were initially used on a New Hampshire patient, who has since died. That patient is now believed to have had a sporadic form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a condition similar to "mad cow" disease but not linked to beef consumption.Not every operating room keeps such specialty instruments on hand, and they can end up in different states if they`ve been leased from medical supply companies.Health officials have said that the normal cleaning procedures for surgical instruments used at hospitals reduce, but do not eradicate, the microscopic protein that causes CJD.
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