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Hepatitis C Spread Linked To Oklahoma Dentist Clinic

Update Date: Sep 19, 2013 09:14 AM EDT

One patient of a Tulsa dentist contracted Hepatitis C from his office, the state health department confirmed. The dentist is accused of possibly exposing thousands of patients too.

Eighty-nine of Dr. Scott Harrington’s patients tested positive for Hepatitis C, four for HIV, and five for Hepatitis B. Dr. Scott’s office has been shut down since March, accused of using unsanitary instruments.

Tough the health department had not directly linked any of those positive results to Harrington’s practice, until now. Yesterday, the health department said one of those cases is one of the first known transmission of Hepatitis C from on dental patient to another.

“This is the first documented report of patient-to-patient transmission of hepatitis C virus associated with a dental setting in the United States. While dental procedures are generally safe, this reinforces the importance of adhering to strict infection control procedures in dental settings," said Dr. Kristy Bradley, a state epidemiologist.

Around 7,000 patients of the clinic were advised to undergo a series of tests to see if they had contracted any infectious diseases by health officials.

As of now the CDC is continuing the test for HIV.

“While our investigation documents the transmission of hepatitis C, we have no reason to believe the hepatitis B cases resulted from exposure in this dental practice,” Bradley further added.

Patients who had to be tested say they don’t expect any kind of monetary relief from what they’ve had to go through. Some though want at least a personal or public apology for the pain and suffering.

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