Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hepatitis C Contracted During Holiday/Dialysis Received In Spain

Dialysis patients in hepatitis test
Published on Tue Nov 30 18:00:46 GMT 2010

Hundreds of dialysis patients are being given extra screening for hepatitis C after two people contracted it following treatment in the same unit in Spain.
The patients, one from the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde board area and one from the NHS Forth Valley board area, were found to be infected with hepatitis C on return from their holiday.
They had both received dialysis in the same unit in Spain, which has now been closed as a precaution.

Health Protection Scotland (HPS) said that the risk of the pair passing the infection on to any other dialysis patients in the health board areas is "extremely low" because of the robust infection control measures in place in Scotland.
However, 245 people who may have been treated in the same units as the two people in Scotland are being offered extra screening for hepatitis C as a precaution.

Professor David Goldberg, consultant epidemiologist at Health Protection Scotland, said: "We are undertaking this additional testing purely as a precaution.
"Patients undergoing dialysis in Scotland can be assured that the risk of acquiring any blood-borne virus infection, such as hepatitis C, is extremely low."
Dialysis patients are already routinely screened for hepatitis C, a blood-borne virus which can be caught only if blood carrying the virus gets into the blood stream.
Such patients can be at risk because dialysis is an invasive procedure.
An international investigation is under way to pinpoint the source of the infections.

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