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Nearly 7,000 May Have Been Exposed to HIV at Ottawa Medical Facility

Nearly 7,000 Canadians will be sent letters informing them they may have been exposed to Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV when being cared for at an Ottawa medical facility which had lapses in infection control, Ottawa Public Health said.

Ottawa's medical officer of health Isra Levy told reporters at a press conference it had been investigating an unnamed non-hospital facility for several months and that the "lapses" in proper procedures may go back 10 years, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

"Even though the risk of infection to those who had the procedures related to this issue is very low, I wanted to ensure that affected patients are made aware of the situation, so they can consider being tested for these infections," Levy said.

"We don't know how long the problem has been going on for. We were notified at public health earlier in the summer."

Levy did not specify what the "lapses" were, but did say the improper cleaning of equipment and inadequate sterilization can cause problems to arise.

It was not known if anyone had contracted illnesses at the medical facility in question.

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