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Four dead after Hepatitis B outbreak in assisted living facility

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 [1], 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 [2] on safe injection practices and environmental and device decontamination and disinfection.