Report Expected Later This Month On Possible Hepatitis C Exposures at Two Utah Hospitals

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Patients who visited the emergency rooms of the two hospitals are urged to get tested by Jan. 31, 2016.
Patients who visited the emergency rooms of the two hospitals are urged to get tested by Jan. 31, 2016.

The Utah Department of Health is expected to release a final report later this month or in early February about a number of patients who may have been exposed to hepatitis C at two hospitals in that state.1 

The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) notes on their website that individuals who visited the emergency department at Mckay-Dee Hospital between June 17, 2013 and November 25, 2014 or visited the emergency department at Davis Hospital and Medical Center between June 17, 2011 and April 11, 2013 may have been exposed. These individuals have been notified by mail and have received additional information about testing.

As of Nov. 11, 2015,  more than 1,100 patients had been tested for hepatitis C-genotype 2 B in regards to the McKay-Dee Hospital issue, and no patients had been identified as positive for hepatitis C-genotype 2 B, according to a press statement on the hospital's website. The statement noted that further information would be released after Jan. 31, 2016. 

Mckay-Dee Hospital and Davis Hospital will offer free testing through the end of January. 

According to published reports, both hospitals previously employed a nurse who contracted the genome 2b strain of HCV.2 The nurse was fired after reportedly using medications illegally. She pleaded to a misdemeanor for possession of a controlled substance, and paid a $413 fine with no jail time.

To prevent further outbreak, the UDOH is providing education to healthcare workers and facilities on infectious disease, and how to prevent them. They are also collaborating with the CDC and the Utah Department of Professional Licensing to discuss additional strategies to prevent outbreaks in the healthcare setting.

References

1. Utah Department of Health. Hepatitis C Investigation Information.  Accessed Jan. 15, 2016.

2. Fox News. Utah fears thousands infected in hepatitis C outbreak after exposure to hospital nurse. Accessed Jan. 10, 2016. 

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