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CJD infection control

Infection Control Guidelines for Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)

The revised edition of the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) National Infection Control Guidelines was endorsed on 16th January 2013. This edition replaces the previous version published in December 2007.

This document provides recommendations for infection control procedures to minimise the risk of transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in health care settings. The ‘Infection Control Guidelines’ are a living document and will be updated from time to time.

Download CJD Infection Control January 2013 version here: CJD Infection Control Guidelines Jan 13

Recipients of Human Pituitary Hormones, other people at risk and family members who have lost a loved one to CJD please note:

If you are experiencing any problems accessing health care in relation to Infection Control Guidelines could you please advise the CJD Support Group Network (1800 052466). Patient who are at increased risk of developing cCJD should be aware that current infection control guidelines recommend that instruments used on ‘at risk’ patients require routinely reprocessing only unless high-infectivity tissue is involved. For procedures involving high-infectivity tissue ie neurosurgery, spinal cord surgery, ophthalmic surgery, pituitary surgery or oro-facio-maxilliary surgical procedures in denistry, additional precautions may be required.

  • High-infectivity tissues include; Brian, dura mater, pituitary gland, spinal cord, posterior eye (including retina, vitreous humour and optic nerve) cranial and dorsal root ganglia, Olfactory epithelium.
  • Dentistry; No additional precautions apply for routine dental procedures (including root canal therapy) for people ‘at increased risk of developing cCJD’..
  • Endoscopes; Except for Ventriculoscopes all other endoscopes used on an ‘at increased risk of developing cCJD’ patient may be reprocessed using routine reprocessing.

There are now screening questions in more hospitals and clinics to identify people with an ‘at risk of cCJD status’. and in some cases the recommendations of the infection control guidelines are not implemented correctly by health care workers. The CJD Support Group Network can work with the Department of Health and Ageing together infection control experts to provide additional information to ensure that you receive equity of care. It is beneficial for us to be aware of any problems you encounter so that we can help you and work towards long term resolutions. If we assist you with a problem today this will go a long way in assisting others who may have problems in the future.

  • Family members of a cCJD patient where there has been a negative result from a prion protein gene (PRNP) test for either the patient or the individual family member should be treated as background risk, unless they have demonstrated other risk factors, with no additional precautions required for any procedures.
  • Patients with suspected cCJD are not contagious – cCJD is a transmissible disease not an infectious disease.
  • People who at increased risk of developing cCJD have a moral obligation but no legal obligation to disclose their ‘at risk of CJD’ status.