Four dead after Hepatitis B outbreak in assisted living facility

By: October 26th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

An outbreak of Hepatitis B recently led to four deaths in a North Carolina assisted living facility.

Of the five residents of Glen Care Assisted Living, Mount Olive, NC, who were infected, four residents aged 63-83 died. The only survivor, who is 57, remains in the hospital but is getting better, reported WRAL-TV of Raleigh, NC.

According to WRAL, Hepatitis B is usually transmitted from bodily fluids and blood, and is contagious. Though public health physicians and the local Health Department are trying to figure out what caused this spread, they have a pretty good idea.

State Epidemiologist, Dr. Megan Davies, told WRAL that because Hepatitis B is a heartier disease, it lasts longer on surfaces compared to other diseases. In this case, the disease could have been transmitted by a piece of equipment that was infected.

The residents are all being tested for Hepatitis B and public health officials will continue to vaccinate them in the future to prevent any more outbreaks.

Has your facility ever had an outbreak of Hepatitis B? What sort of actions did you take? Let us know in our comment section.

Editor’s note. See Tools page for free downloads on safe injection practices and environmental and device decontamination and disinfection.

Comments

husband diagnosed w/ HCV3, no iv dirty needle use, no transfusion, no surgeries, recent blood work since diagnosed with diabetes (non-insulin dependent, oral meds only) a couple of years ago. Developed symptoms and became ill less than 6 months after last “pricking” or blood drawing at Goshen Medical Center, in Duplin County, Faison, NC. Interested to know if any pattern. Believe he may have contracted at GMC due to poor medical device use, like at Glen Care facility only 10 miles away! Where 4 or 5 elderly residents were contaminated with HBV a few years ago. One person who drew his blood, at about the time to allow for symptoms to form, is no longer with GMC to his belief. Thinks she may be the person who performed unclean medical blood test on him while being monitored for routine diabetes appointment. I was tested an another facility and am negative for ALL hepatitis virus. We have been married for 29 years and have had sexual relations for over 30 years. So I do not believe he had it until recently. We have had less sex in past couple of years due to diabetes (ED). Recent CT shows NO DAMAGE to liver at all, so really suspect that infection was very recent. He has also been a moderate drinker for years, and is 58 now. He quit when diagnosed a few months ago. I would like an investigation into practices at GMC and to see how many patients (like him) were “strongly suggested” to go have the Hepatitis testing done. Please let me know what we should do. Do not know if insurance will cover treatment, and the specialist he saw today suggested he must be treated for a year! I am suspicious of the time and effectiveness expressed to my husband of treatment. My husband and I both were diagnosed relatively soon after we began dating with herpes simplex; source unknown … however, this would have also given a leg-up for viral load of Hepatitis, had he had it for 30 years of our marriage. Again … I test negative for all forms of Hepatitis. Please advise. I am concerned about others being infected and perhaps with immune issues that may cause it to be deadly to them! He has been very ill off and on in past few months. We just thought it was his blood sugar, which is well-controlled according to GMC A1C tests. They have NOT recommend taking him off of at least two medications that can aggravate hepatitis and damage the liver. My doctor, in discussing my concerns for my being infected and my husband’s health, said he should likely be taken off of some of his diabetes meds. the damage to the liver would outweigh benefits of drugs like statins. I do not believe he is getting good care. I had a long-term co-worker and friend die of breast cancer due to negligence at the same medical center in Faison, NC. I am VERY concerned for his and the health of others, less educated and unsuspecting, individuals. There are a lot of elderly and immigrant patients that use this center. I am trying to get him to go elsewhere, but he is overwhelmed by the diabetes and hepatitis and works very hard every day and has little time to deal with seeing doctors and researching treatments.

Didn’t realize this was a public blog! Very personal info placed under comment, thought this was an OSHA info response site. Should have a disclaimer above “leave a comment” section to alert people not to give too detailed personal details that could identify the person. This site is probably violating HIIPA by not disclosing these are PUBLIC medical posts.

 

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