Tucson Citizen (04.17.13)
Aids Weekly Plus
The Pima County Health Department has partnered with the Arizona Department of Health Services to examine an incident regarding patients who may have been exposed to blood-borne diseases, such as hepatitis or HIV. The Pima County Health Department is contacting the dental patients who were seen at the T Dental Clinic at 3662 W. Ina Road in Marana, Ariz., between January and July of 2010. This is a precautionary measure; no cases of disease transmission have been identified at this time. The Health Department is contacting all potentially exposed patients, believed to be approximately 174 individuals, based on dental records. However, if persons were T Dental Clinic patients between that timeframe—January to July 2010—and have not yet been contacted, they are urged to call the Health Department staff at (520) 243-7808 for specific guidance.
Dr. Francisco Garcia, Public Health Director, declared, “At this time, we are trying to help provide residents with sufficient information so they can take the appropriate steps to feel secure about their health. The only individuals at risk for infection are those who were seen at T Dental Clinic during a very specific period of time.” Garcia further explained that even though the County Health Department does not regulate dental and medical offices, the Health Department believes that it is vitally important to notify the public regarding this possible health risk.
The potential exposure may have been the result of improperly installed dental equipment; however, currently, there is no evidence that patients were exposed to hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV. The Health Department strongly recommends that the people who have been contacted make an appointment with their primary care physician to be tested for these diseases. T Dental Clinic patients who have questions, or need information about referrals or where to get tested, should call Health Department staff at (520) 243-7808, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The T Dental Clinic is no longer in practice. It closed operations around the time period of July 2010.