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News2007May › Hepatitis C: Hospital patients are new group at risk › May 2007

Hepatitis C: Hospital patients are new group at risk

Hepatitis C is a virus that can cause liver damage and cancer, sometimes fatally

Hepatitis C is a virus that can cause liver damage and cancer, sometimes fatally. Body fluids and the sharing of contaminated needles can spread it, and so high-risk groups include homosexuals and drug addicts.

But there's a new addition to that group - the hospital patient. Fourteen elderly patients at a nursing home in Maryland contracted hepatitis C after being infected by a contaminated vial. Of those, 11 developed jaundice and one died of liver failure.

Researchers discovered that the nursing home had poor hygiene standards. Syringes were being re-used and needles were left lying around.

They also discovered that the virus could survive outside of the human body for at least 21 hours.
(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2006; 296: 2005-11).

E-news broadcast 9 November 2006 No.308 [Subscribe]


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