Another Case of Hepatitis Confirmed

Another case of hepatitis C has been confirmed and linked to a clinic owned by the doctors who are already under investigation. The infection happened at the Desert Shadow clinic on Burnham Avenue.

The health district estimates more than 1,300 patients were treated there over the past two years. Next week, those patents will get letters informing them of the newest findings.

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"We can show that the case was negative a couple days prior to going into the clinic and developed acute hepatitis C," said Brian Labus with the Southern Nevada Health District.

Labus says although the patient was infected during a procedure in June of 2006, they did not come forward until after the clinic was closed down. That left investigators with limited information on the clinic's practices.

However Labus says before it was closed, nurses were seen reusing anesthesia vials, "They had one person observed to be re-using propyphol, and looking at the logs, we could show that they had been re-using it, but we could only go back to December of 2007."

The health district will be notifying Burnham patients about the discovery but will not mandate testing

"We want to give them the facts, we have the limited information that we have, and allow them to make some choices about their health. But we are encouraging people to talk to their doctors about it and if they are concerned, there is no reason they should not get tested," he said.

Letters will be sent to patients from both the Burnham and Shadow Lane clinics, asking them to sign up for a new registry. By getting all the patents information into one database, investigators hope to learn more about the outbreak and share findings faster with patients.

Those letters are expected to go out next week and the health district says if you were a patient from either clinic and you do not receive a letter, they might not have your address.

Email your comments to Reporter Amanda Hernandez

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