Hepatitis And HIV Warning In Rockland County
ORANGEBURG, NY (WCBS 880) – If your blood was tested at one Rockland County medical facility, you may have reason to worry.
WCBS 880’s Catherine Cioffi reports
The New York State Department of Health is warning patients that had finger-stick blood sugar testing at the Rockland Psychiatric Center in Orangeburg to get tested for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV.
Last summer, a patient treated at the center developed a new Hepatitis infection and the state says that’s when they started an investigation and found that finger-stick pens were being used on more than one patient.
The investigation identified another patient with chronic hepatitis B who was treated at the center at the same time as the newly-infected patient. Analysis performed by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta found that the analyzed portions of viruses from the two patients were identical, suggesting transmission from one patient to the other or transmission to each patient from another infected person.
Both patients had received finger sticks with a shared pen while at Rockland Psychiatric Center; however, investigators could not determine with certainty that the infection was transmitted by use of a pen. Hepatitis B virus can be transmitted by blood-to-blood or blood-to-mucous membrane exposure, or by sexual contact.
The state says 229 patients might have been exposed. They will be notified in person or by letter, and testing will be offered by Rockland Psychiatric Center or arranged through the patients’ private physicians.