CJD emergency phoneline closes

A dedicated emergency hotline for people concerned they may have contracted CJD after a major scandal at Beaumont Hospital has been shut down.

A spokesperson confirmed the emergency number was closed last night after a sharp drop-off in calls.

The phoneline was initially set up on Friday after it emerged between 10 and 20 people may have been contaminated with the lethal illness — which has no cure — at Beaumont’s neurological unit.

The crisis was sparked after doctors realised they had performed surgery on an individual who was subsequently found to be infected with CJD.

The equipment and medical tools had continued to be used on other patients at the facility, despite the fact any equipment used on such patients must undergo a “deep clean” sterilisation process or be thrown away.

As the news broke, 1,300 called the phoneline seeking re-assurance they were not involved.

The number dropped to 44 on Saturday, 15 on Sunday, and just 13 yesterday.

Despite widespread concern over what happened at the hospital and the impact it could have on public health, both the HSE and Beaumont remained tight-lipped on the situation last night.

It is understood that, due to the seriousness of the condition for those who may be affected, neither party will release any information on the first person to have contracted the brain-destroying illness.

This includes information on their age, gender, and the extent to which their current health has deteriorated.

In addition, no details are being released on exactly how many people are involved, their ages and where they are from.

It is also unclear whether any of the individuals has or is currently a blood donor, or what precautions they will have to take over the course of their lives to prevent any risk of further infection — if any of the individuals have in fact contracted CJD.


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