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U.S. News

60 Oklahoma Dental Patients Test Positive for Hepatitis or HIV

April 19, 2013

The Tulsa Health Department announced that approximately 60 former patients of Dr. W. Scott Harrington's dental clinics tested positive for hepatitis or HIV. Harrington was criticized by the state dental board for poor sterilization practices. More than 7,000 patients of his Tulsa and Owasso clinics were sent letters in March notifying them of the risk of infection and advising them how to get free blood testing. Of 3,122 persons tested by county health departments, 57 tested positive for hepatitis C, three for hepatitis B, and one for HIV.

The Tulsa and Oklahoma Health Departments are in the process of informing patients of the results. Health officials will personally contact those who tested positive, provide counseling about the disease, and direct them to appropriate resources for treatment. Testing may also be recommended for their spouses or partners. Dr. Kristy Bradley, an epidemiologist, noted that the source of the infections is under investigation. She explained that the next phase will include more interviews of persons who tested positive to determine the likelihood that their exposure is associated with their dental procedure at the practice.

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