- Creutzfeldt-Jakob was detected at Washington Regional Medical Center
- The hospital closed its operating rooms as a precaution
The disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, was detected in a patient at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville. The hospital closed its operating rooms Tuesday, but it's unclear when operations will resume.
"There is no word on when the operating rooms could reopen; that would be a question for the hospital," said Margaret Mirivel, a spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department Health.
The hospital said while it's unlikely other patients are affected, it closed its operating rooms as a precaution.
The degenerative brain disorder leads to dementia and eventually death. It occurs when a protein called a prion folds abnormally, making it infectious and affecting its ability to function.
Mayo Clinic says the disease develops
in three ways: It can occur sporadically, the patient can inherit the abnormal prion or one can contract it during a medical procedure.