Many students and staff at a Winnipeg high school are being tested for HIV and hepatitis after they were improperly screened for diabetes. On May 4, a University of Manitoba professor who gave a presentation on diabetes misused a glucometer while checking the blood-sugar levels of some 80 people at Southeast Collegiate, a school that serves First Nations youths.
"The lancet, the needle-like poker which punctures the skin, was in fact changed after every use, and the skin was cleaned with alcohol," said John Danakas, a university spokesperson. "It's the device which holds the lancet that was reused, and you're not supposed to reuse that."
The university said the risk of infection is less than one in 1 million. The professor involved was not authorized to administer the test and has been disciplined. "As soon as the university found out about it, we alerted the school," Danakas said.
Staff and students being tested for HIV and hepatitis B and C must be retested in six months.
"While the risk of a student contracting an infection is described by the University of Manitoba as exceptionally unlikely ... the risk is not zero," Michael Yellowback, chief of the Manto Sipi Cree Nation, said in a written statement. Eight children from the reserve attending the school were part of the diabetes testing.
An advocacy group for First Nations communities in northern Manitoba, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, criticized the initial blood-glucose checks for not being conducted with prior written parental consent.
Back to other news for June 2012
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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