- Associated Press - Thursday, November 12, 2015

OGDEN, Utah (AP) - More than 1,000 people possibly exposed to hepatitis C at an Ogden hospital have tested negative for the disease, but officials are now saying patients at another hospital may have been affected.

McKay-Dee Hospital officials issued letters Oct. 30 offering free blood tests to 4,800 people who may have been exposed to hepatitis C after a nurse and a patient were found to be infected, reported the Standard-Examiner (https://bit.ly/1iVSHGL ). Officials announced Wednesday that the first 1,100 people who were tested have no sign of the disease.

Health officials became concerned after a 49-year-old nurse admitted to stealing drugs from the hospital and later tested positive for the disease. McKay-Dee officials said she used narcotic pain medications meant for emergency room patients about one a week and they fired her in 2014.

But the nurse worked for Davis Hospital and Medical Center before going to McKay, and Centers for Disease Control epidemiologist Angela Dunn said records show the nurse stole drugs at Davis Hospital as well.

Health officials don’t know if the nurse had hepatitis when she worked at Davis. As a precaution, the hospital is notifying 2,369 patients who may have come in contact with the nurse or received certain medications from her between June 17, 2011 and April 11, 2013.

“The hospital conducted a detailed and thorough review of medical records to determine if patients in the emergency room may have been put at any risk of exposure to hepatitis C,” said the hospital’s business development director Diane Townsend in a prepared statement.

Townsend said Davis will provide free testing for those who get a letter.

In the statement, she said people with hepatitis C may not look for feel sick, but the disease can have significant consequences if left untreated.

“We strongly encourage those contacted to be screened,” she said.

People who have not received a letter from either hospital have no risk of exposure from the nurse and don’t need to take any action, according to the Utah Department of Health website..

McKay-Dee Hospital and the Utah Department of Health are expected to release a final report on the testing results after January.


Information from: Standard-Examiner, https://www.standard.net

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