70 hepatitis C cases now reported in Okla. infection scandal

Oklahoma health officials now say 70 people who were patients of Tulsa oral surgeon W. Scott Harrington, DMD, have tested positive for hepatitis C.

A fourth round of testing identified one new case of hepatitis C but no new cases of hepatitis B, according to an Oklahoma State Department of Health press release. In addition, four people have tested positive for hepatitis B and three have tested positive for HIV infections so far.

As of May 8, 3,820 former patients of Dr. Harrington have been tested.

Those whose tests are positive are being personally contacted and counseled about information specific to the disease for which the test was positive, and they will be directed to resources for appropriate care and follow-up. If warranted, testing will be recommended for a spouse or partner.

The Oklahoma Board of Dentistry launched an investigation of Dr. Harrington on March 15 after being notified that health officials were looking into a complaint about potential hepatitis C contamination at his practice. On March 28, public health officials began notifying 7,000 of Dr. Harrington's patients that they may have been exposed to blood-borne viruses at his Tulsa and Owasso offices and should be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.

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