Published Date: 2012-06-10 17:41:27
Subject: PRO/EDR> Hepatitis C - USA (02): (NH) nosocomial
Archive Number: 20120610.1163427
HEPATITIS C - USA (02): (NEW HAMPSHIRE) NOSOCOMIAL
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Sun 10 Jun 2012
Source: myfoxphily.com [edited]
14 diagnosed with hepatitis C in outbreak at New Hampshire hospital
Exeter: Four more people have been diagnosed with the strain of hepatitis C virus recently found in 10 people associated with a lab at a New Hampshire hospital. The state's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced the additional results on Saturday [9 Jun 2012]. Fourteen patients treated at Exeter Hospital's Cardiac Catheterization Lab since 1 Apr 2011 have been diagnosed. Of the 14, one is also an Exeter Hospital employee.
"We realize this may be very concerning to people, but we are working as quickly and as thoroughly as we can in close collaboration with Exeter Hospital to determine how these individuals were infected," said Jose Montero, director of public health at DHHS. "At this time, we do not need to expand the testing, but as we have said since the beginning, if we need to we will let people know as soon as possible."
Hepatitis C is a viral infection transmitted through contact with an infected person's blood. The infection causes inflammation of the liver, and possible chronic health issues.
ProMED-mail from HealthMap alerts
[This and the previous report do not disclose how the infection was transmitted, and to what extent it has been a consequence of inadequate medical procedures. Further information is awaited. According to the CDC website (http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HCV/HCVfaq.htm#section3 ) about 20 to 30 per cent of those newly infected with HCV (hepatitis C virus) experience fatigue, abdominal pain, poor appetite, or jaundice. In those who do develop symptoms, the average time period from exposure to symptom onset is 4-12 weeks (range: 2-24 weeks).
Most people with chronic HCV infection are asymptomatic. However, many have chronic liver disease, which can range from mild to severe, including cirrhosis and liver cancer. Chronic liver disease in those with HCV infection is usually insidious, progressing slowly without any signs or symptoms for several decades. In fact, HCV infection is often not recognized until asymptomatic people are identified as HCV positive when screened for blood donation or when elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT, a liver enzyme) levels are detected during routine examinations.
HCV infection can be detected by anti-HCV screening tests (enzyme immunoassay) 4-10 weeks after infection. Anti-HCV can be detected in over 97 per cent of people by 6 months after exposure. HCV RNA appears in blood and can be detected as early as 2-3 weeks after infection.
False positive anti-HCV tests appear more often when people at low risk for HCV infection (such as blood donors) are tested. Therefore, it is important to confirm a positive anti-HCV test with a supplemental test, such as RIBA (recombinant immunoblot assay), as most false positive anti-HCV tests are reported as negative on supplemental testing. Further information is available from the Guidelines for Laboratory Testing and Result Reporting of Antibody to Hepatitis C Virus, MMWR 2003;52(RR-3) http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5203a1.htm.
Exeter can be located in the HealthMap/ProMED-Mail interactive map of New Hampshire at: http://healthmap.org/r/2y7g. - Mod.CP]