Since the beginning of the year, the state of Florida has reported one confirmed and one probable case of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), and both cases are from Hillsborough County, according to state data.

vCJD Image/CDC
vCJD
Image/CDC

In 2015, 21 confirmed and eight probable CJD cases were reported in the state from 20 counties with three cases reported in Hillsborough County.The confirmed case was reported from Tampa in January, while a probable case was reported from Valrico, in eastern Hillsborough County last month.

LISTEN: Prion diseases and the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation

CJD is a rare brain disease that affects approximately one person per million people worldwide per year. CJD occurs when a normal brain protein changes into an abnormal form called a “prion” and accumulates in brain cells. CJD can occur sporadically, from genetic mutation, or it can be acquired. It is not easily transmitted from person to person.

CJD patients have a range of neurological symptoms that get worse as the disease progresses. Symptoms may include: failing memory, difficulty with walking, blindness, and problems with common activities of daily living.

There is no specific treatment or therapy that has been shown to stop the progression of the disease. There is currently no easy diagnosis for CJD. Physicians often make a presumptive diagnosis of CJD on the basis of the typical signs and symptoms and progression of the disease.