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Public Health Response - Situation Update 14

Public Health Response - Situation Update 14

TULSA, OK – [May 9, 2013, 12:08 p.m. CST] – As testing continues for patients of W. Scott Harrington’s dental surgical practice, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) and Tulsa Health Department (THD) have a fourth round of results to report. 

One new case of hepatitis C has been identified since the last situation update, for a cumulative total of 70 individuals who have tested positive for hepatitis C. No new cases of hepatitis B have been identified; the cumulative total remains four individuals who have tested positive for hepatitis B. At this time there have been three positive HIV infections identified.

 

Patient Testing
On March 28, public health officials advised they were notifying current and former patients of the practice that they may have been exposed to blood-borne viruses at Harrington’s Tulsa and Owasso offices. Health officials recommended these patients have their blood drawn for testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV infection at free screening clinics established at the Tulsa Health Department, Oklahoma City-County Health Department and other county health departments in the state. The Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Public Health Laboratory is providing the laboratory analysis on specimens collected at these sites. The lab has completed testing for 3,820 persons as of 5:00 p.m. Wednesday. 

Those persons 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.

To date, 3,796 people have visited county health departments throughout the state to have their blood drawn for testing as part of this public health response. An unknown number of persons have sought testing through their private health care provider.

 

Screening Appointments and Patient Information Hotline
In the Tulsa metropolitan area, screening continues weekdays at the North Regional Health and Wellness Center, 5635 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Patients are advised to call the North Regional Health and Wellness Center directly at (918)595-4380 to schedule an appointment.  Walk-ins will still be accepted, however appointments are recommended in order to minimize wait times. 

Anyone who was a patient at Dr. W. Scott Harrington’s dental practice should contact the Patient Information hotline (918)595-4500 with any questions.  English- and Spanish-speaking public health representatives will be available during normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Current and former patients of the Harrington practice who live elsewhere in the state should contact their local county health department to make an appointment to have their blood drawn for testing.

 

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month
May is Hepatitis Awareness Month and the Oklahoma State Department of Health and Tulsa Health Department are using this observance as an opportunity to encourage health care providers to recommend and test the public for chronic hepatitis. The CDC has an online Hepatitis Risk Assessment individuals can access at http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/riskassessment/ to help determine their hepatitis risk. 

Further information on the screenings and results from this public health response will be included in Situation Updates on our website. 

 

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