Health Department on Hepatitis-C - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Health Department on Hepatitis-C

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ManorCare has filed suit against Trinity Health, claiming a Trinity employee was responsible for spreading Hepatitis-C to dozens of people.

Trinity has responded saying the allegations are untrue and that Trinity's procedures have been evaluated by federal and state health officials who found no problems.

At the North Dakota Department of Health, the state epidemiologist won't comment on the lawsuit claims and counter-claims.

But Tracy Miller says the department's investigation has not locked in on any single person.

(Tracy Miller, ND Department of Health State Epidemiologist) "We're not really looking for exact people, we're looking at what is the exact procedure, what is the mechanism, so that's kind of the road we're taking. The investigation that we have as we indicated is looking at podiatry, phlebotomy, and nail care, and we also looked at a variety of other medical procedures and could find no significance among them."

The ManorCare lawsuit claims that a Trinity worker performed phlebotomy on all 46 victims who contracted Hepatitis-C, including a recently-discovered 46th patient who had no connection to ManorCare.

Miller says there's no definitive information about that 46th victim.

(Tracy Miller, ND Department of Health State Epidemiologist) "At this time we're still kind of looking into it, looking at medical history and doing any testing, any followup that needs to be done, so at this time I don't have any more to say than what was originally released except that like any new case what we try to do is go back through medical histories, any of that kind of stuff to see if there are differences, similarities, how they are connected."

The connection among the 46 victims is a genetically similar strain of Hepatitis-C that came from one source.

The Health Department is continuing its investigation.

Meanwhile, Trinity plans to file a response to ManorCare's lawsuit soon in federal court.


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