Hepatitis outbreak claims sixth life

December 1, 2010 1:52:22 PM PST
A sixth person at a Mount Olive assisted living facility has died in connection with a Hepatitis B outbreak.

Public health officials said the individual was one of eight identified as part of the initial Division of Public Health investigation into the outbreak at GlenCare Assisted Living.

The investigation began in October.

The Division of Public Health has provided ongoing testing to residents and anyone who had been a resident since January 2010 as part of the investigation.

A report released by public health officials in November said at least six of the GlenCare residents had their blood sugar tested and finds that residents had to share lancet pins, which may have led to the deaths of at least five residents and sickened three others with Hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B is a blood-borne disease that is typically transmitted by exposure to blood or body fluids. State investigators say during interviews last month with GlenCare employees, one medication tech admitted the same blood testing needles were shared between multiple patients.

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