Health authorities confirmed on Thursday that a 50-year-old man died of iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in late January. The patient surnamed Baek was the second person diagnosed with the incurable and fatal brain disease in the country, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
The first case of the disease was reported in November 2011, after the patient had died.
Baek is believed to have contracted the disease after he received a dura mater graft transplant to treat an intracranial hemorrhage in 1988. The tissue graft is suspected to have been contaminated. The product transplanted into his body was Lyodura made in Germany from tissue extracted from cadavers. It is the same brand that was used with the first patient who died in Korea.
ICJD infection due to a Lyodura transplant was first reported in the U.S. in 1987, followed by similar cases in New Zealand and other countries. In 1997, the World Health Organization advised its members to refrain from using dura mater extracted from cadavers. There have been more than 200 cases reported of iCJD worldwide.
ICJD is caused by transplants of infected human tissues unlike variant CJD, often referred to as human mad cow disease, which is transmitted from cattle. Korea has no reports of vCJD cases.
By Cho Chung-un (firstname.lastname@example.org