ATLANTA, Jan. 27 (UPI) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking dialysis providers to improve their infection control practices because of an increased number of patients acquiring the hepatitis C virus.
The agency reports it has been contacted about 36 cases of HCV at 19 clinics in eight states, with transmission of the virus between patients proven at nine of the clinics. The transmission is being blamed on lapses in preventive measures such as injection safety, environmental disinfection, and hand hygiene.
HCV is a liver infection generally spread by sharing needles or other methods of injecting drugs. Most people who get HCV are infected for a short period of time, though it can lead to longer-term health problems.