Lax cleaning exposes 6,800 to HIV in Canada

Up to 6,800 people may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis an Ottawa clinic over the past decade, health officials in Canada have warned. Photo / Thinkstock
Up to 6,800 people may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis an Ottawa clinic over the past decade, health officials in Canada have warned. Photo / Thinkstock

Up to 6,800 people may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis an Ottawa clinic over the past decade, health officials have warned.

The capital city's chief public health doctor Isra Levy announced over the weekend that an inspection in late spring had discovered lax cleaning of medical instruments at an unspecified clinic in Ottawa.

On Monday, following a public outcry over a lack of information in the case he told a press conference the clinic in Ottawa's west side was operated by Christiane Farazli, and said she performed endoscopic procedures, including colonoscopies.

"These are no longer performed at the facility which otherwise remains in operation," he added.

Earlier, registered letters were sent to approximately 6,800 patients who underwent an endoscopic procedure between April 2002 and June 2011, asking them to get tested for HIV and hepatitis.

"Ottawa Public Health believes there is a very low risk that patients may have been exposed to hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or the HIV virus during the tests," Levy said.

"The risk of associated infection are believed to be less than one million for hepatitis B, less than one in 50 million for hepatitis C and less than one in three billion for HIV."

- AFP

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