New Brunswick launches webpage dedicated to tracking mysterious neurological diseases

The New Brunswick government has launched a webpage dedicated to providing updates on a mysterious neurological disease that has so far infected 47 people and killed six.

The webpage, which is part of the website, launched on Tuesday and provides an overview of the province’s investigation into the cause of the disease, the symptoms it is causing and the cases detected so far .

“Since the start of 2020, doctors in New Brunswick have identified a number of people with an unusual combination of neurological symptoms,” the site says.

“Despite a thorough medical investigation, a diagnosis for these people has not yet been determined.”

The disease cluster was first reported in March, when the CBC received a Public Health rating for medical professionals.

The March 5 memo noted that 43 cases of the disease had been identified so far and five people had died. Four new cases and one more death have since been recorded.

Tests on patients have so far ruled out Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and other prion diseases, and scientists are investigating the possibility that it is an entirely new disease, possibly caused by a toxin. environmental.

The webpage shows that the onset of the disease is between 2013 and 2020. In a note, however, the province says symptoms started in 2018, 2019 or 2020 for most cases, and only one case identified in 2020 exhibited symptoms in 2013.

The death toll of six is ​​also appended with a note saying: “In some cases, additional information is needed to determine whether the cause of death is the result of this [neurological syndrome of unknown cause]. “

The web page includes information on the number of cases, the number of deaths and the demographics of one contracted the disease. (Government of New Brunswick)

The province says 51 percent of cases involve women, while 49 percent are men and are between 18 and 85 years old.

“At the time of their health care provider referral, most of those investigated were living in the southeast and northeastern regions of New Brunswick, around the Acadian Peninsula. and Moncton, ”the web page says.

“However, so far our investigation has found no evidence to suggest that residents of these areas are at greater risk than those living elsewhere in the province.”

Symptoms of the disease include:

  • Memory problems.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Balance problems, difficulty walking or falls.
  • Blurred vision or visual hallucinations.
  • Significant and unexplained weight loss.
  • Behavior changes.
  • Pain in the upper or lower limbs.

The webpage says Public Health is working with several provincial and federal agencies to investigate the cluster of diseases, including the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries and the Public Health Agency. from Canada.

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