More Hepatitis Cases Possibly Linked to Las Vegas Clinics

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- The number of people possibly infected with hepatitis by unsafe medical practices at some Las Vegas medical centers appears to be climbing.

Health officials say, in addition to nine confirmed cases, there may another 105 cases "possibly associated" to the endoscopy centers in question. This is higher than the previously released number of 77.

The number could be even higher but most of the 53,000 patients who were notified of the unsafe medical practices at the centers did not register with the health district's Hepatitis C Exposure Registry. Only 7,331 people. Some people were being told by their attorneys to not cooperate with the Southern Nevada Health District.

"We know there are more people out there," said Epidemiologist Brian Labus, Southern Nevada Health District. Labus says people can still get registered.

The nine confirmed cases are linked to either the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada on Shadow Lane or the Desert Shadow Endoscopy Center on Burnham Avenue. The 105 other possible cases are also linked to these clinics.

The clinics came under fire after it was discovered that medicine vials and syringes were being reused. 

Both facilities were associated with Dr. Dipak Desai. He has surrendered his license to practice medicine pending the outcome of the investigation.

Desai and other former clinic owners face dozens of lawsuits alleging medical negligence.


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