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Message - July 15, 2001
City faces hepatitis scare


Eight people contracted hepatitis C in Brooklyn

(New York) (WCBS)

New York City health officials say eight people were diagnosed with the highly contagious hepatitis C -- but officials say it's unlikely that the liver disease will spread to the general population.

Cohen said it still unclear how the hepatitis spread, but the outbreak appears to be related to the methods in which in this endoscopic procedures were carried out at the Bay Ridge Endoscopy and Digestive Health Center.

Each of the eight people with hepatitis had the procedure at the clinic in late March.

The health department is trying to contact 2200 people who were patients at the clinic dating back to January 2000 for blood tests.

The city and state health departments are investigating the outbreak, and a physician at the Bay Ridge clinic has stopped performing endoscopies, which is the procedure in which the lining of the stomach or bowel is examined with a flexible lighted instrument.

Such procedures are part of the routine screening for colon cancer.

Blood samples of the infected patients have been forwarded to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to trace the source of the outbreak.

Hepatitis is the disorder that causes inflammation of the liver and can lead to chronic liver disease.

The form of hepatitis the city is concerned about today was first identified in 1987.

A frightening aspect about the strains that many people infected with hepatitis C don't know they have it.

Hepatitis C is responsible for anywhere from 150,000 250,000 new infections each year.

Someone who's infected with hepatitis may feel like they have the flu, but a flu that doesn't go away. Doctors warned, however, that eighty percent of people infected with hepatitis C have no signs her symptoms.

The disease is transmitted through blood transfusion, receiving tainted blood products, sharing needles with infected IV users. It can also be spread by exchanging body fluids through sex.

Hepatitis C is not airborne and not spread by: kissing, holding hands, using the same bathroom as someone who's infected or by eating food prepared by someone who's infected.

While anybody is at risk for contracting the disease, there are some groups who are more ay risk than others for contracted illness. They are hemophiliacs and IV drug users and health-care/lab workers who can come into contact with infected needle are instrument.

The city health departments set up a special telephone hotline for people who visited the clinic since Jan. 2000. The number is 212 -- 78 -- 2222.

Clinic sued over hepatitis outbreak

Woman contracted hepatitis C after undergoing gastrointestinal exams

Kindergarten teachers suing for alleged malpractice

At least eight other patients at Bay Ridge clinic also contracted illness

(New York) (AP)

A woman contracted hepatitis C after undergoing gastrointestinal exams in the Brooklyn clinic is suing for alleged malpractice.

Deborah Postler and her husband, Stephan, filed suit in this state Supreme Court in Brooklyn Monday, alleging the operators of the Bay Ridge Endoscopy and Digestive Health Center were negligent in their treatment.

Deborah Postler, a kindergarten teacher, was diagnosed with hepatitis C in May after undergoing endoscopy and colonoscopy at the clinic in March. Her husband, who also filed suit, underwent a procedure at the clinic in early April and still is being tested for disease, according to the couple's lawyer, Guy Keith Vann.

Deborah Postler is being treated with several drugs, some of which have caused her hair to fallout and have left her week, with flu like symptoms.

The postlers are seeking unspecified damages for personal and psychological injuries.

The story was first reported by the New York Post and the Daily News.

Named in the class-action lawsuit are doctors Vincent Rovito, Maria Castellano, and Marvin Chiumento. The clinic is closed, and the doctors could not be reached for comment.

At least eight other patients of the clinic came down with hepatitis C. City health officials said the flare up was reported May 1st by the clinic's operators, we have cooperated with an ongoing investigation.

Officials have notified other patients of the clinic that they should get tested for hepatitis C, which can cause long-term damage, including cirrhosis of the liver.

Note from Lloyd:

I have heard from other sources that at least 30 other victims have been identified.

One is on the treatment that I document in Triumph Over Hepatitis C.

He feels Great and his hair is not falling out.

There are numerous statistical errors in these articles.



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