New York City Dialysis Center Exposes Nearly 700 Patients to Hepatitis C

A New York City dialysis center was shut down by the state Health department after one patient tested positive for hepatitis C.

Now, nearly 700 patients of the Life Care Dialysis Center in Manhattan are being urged to get tested for both hepatitis B and C strains, as well as HIV, reports.

In a press release, the Health Department said they uncovered poor conditions, including “blood on the treatment chairs and dialysis machines, lack of proper hand hygiene, and inadequate disinfection of equipment.”

Hepatitis C is a chronic infectious disease of the liver that is most commonly transmitted by needle-sharing during intravenous drug use, according to the National Institutes of Health. Worldwide, an estimated 180 million people have chronic hepatitis C, with more than 4 million of these cases in the United States, the NIH said on its Web site.

Officials say anyone treated at the center between Jan. 23, 2004 and the present should contact their physicians and get tested, the news station reported.

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