Published: 02:40 EDT, 19 April 2013 | Updated: 03:49 EDT, 19 April 2013>
Dentist: This 1977 license picture provided by the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry shows Tulsa oral surgeon Dr. Scott Harrington who's accused of exposing as many as 7,000 of his patients to hepatitis and HIV
At least 60 people have tested positive for hepatitis or HIV linked to an Oklahoma dentist accused of reusing needles and operating with rusty and unsterilized equipment, according to health officials.
Dr W Scott Harrington, an oral surgeon who operated from both a Tulsa and Owasso clinic, is accused of potentially exposing 7,000 of his patients to the viruses since at least 2007, according to authorities.
Thursday's test results are just the first round following more than 3,200 tested throughout the state after warning from the Tulsa Health Department in March.
The department reports 57 individuals have tested positive for hepatitis C, three individuals have tested positive for hepatitis B and less than 3 have tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The exact number of those testing positive for HIV is not being disclosed due to a Data Security Policy against reporting numbers less than three, according to the department.
'We understand these first reported test results may be of concern,' THD Director Dr. Bruce Dart said in a >release.
The department says they will personally contact those who have tested positive for any of the diseases and will offer them and their family counsel.
The department notes the possibility that some that test positive may not be related to the dental procedures at the Harrington practice.
'This is a complex investigation,' emphasized State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley.
Office: Harrington's dental office in Tulsa is pictured, one of two Oklahoma practices he oversaw before surrendering his state dental license
'The next phase will include more in-depth interviews of persons who test positive to determine the likelihood that their exposure is associated with their dental surgical procedure at the Harrington practice. We will certainly continue to keep the public informed as we learn more,' she continued.
Health officials say a patient of Harrington’s with no known risk factors first tested positive for both hepatitis C and HIV after a visit to his practice earlier this year.
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Authorities began investigating Harrington before launching a surprise inspection at his practice on March 18 that turned up old needles, rusty instruments and a practice of pouring bleach on patients' wounds, until they 'turned white,' according to a complaint filed by the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry.
The Board soon lodged a 17-count complaint against Harrington, saying he was a ‘menace to the public health by reasons of practicing dentistry in an unsafe or unsanitary manner.’
Investigation: After a patient with no known risk factors first tested positive for both hepatitis C and HIV after a visit to his practice earlier this year, Harrington's Owasso office is pictured, an investigation was launched
Among the claims was one detailing the use of rusty instruments in patients known to have infectious diseases that were dipped twice in bleach in hope of cleaning them.
‘The CDC has determined that rusted instruments are porous and cannot be properly sterilized,’ the board said of that practice.
Harrington told officials he left questions about sterilization and drug procedures to his employees.
‘They take care of that, I don't,’ the dentistry board quoted him as saying.
Health officials sent letters to 7,000 known patients but cautioned that they don't know who visited his clinics before 2007. The letters urge the patients to be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV - viruses typically spread through intravenous drug use or unprotected sex, not occupational settings.
Harrington had practiced for more than 30 years before voluntarily surrounding his state dental license following the investigation.
He potentially faces criminal charges.
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2311477/Scott-Harrington-60-dental-patients-test-positive-Hepatitis-HIV-dentist-reused-needles.htmlThanks you for read my article Even Paul Daley Thinks Banning Conor McGregor Is A Dumb Idea, Despite High Profile Bus Attack