Belfast Telegraph (09.11.2013)
Aids Weekly Plus
The United Kingdom is under a major health alert, with Public Health England contacting thousands of individuals after confirming that a healthcare worker diagnosed with hepatitis C infected two patients. A retired obstetrics and gynecology worker transmitted the virus to two individuals while working at a hospital in Wales between 1984 and 2002, according to a Public Health England spokesperson. The healthcare worker also worked at other hospitals in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland from 1975 to 1983. Public Health England was contacting former patients by letter to inform them of the risk as well as setting up a series of confidential helplines and a support service. In England, the helpline and support service will be in place from September 12 for any woman concerned because she had an obstetric or gynecologic procedure at one of the 11 hospitals during the specified periods. Dr. Paul Cosford, Public Health England medical director, emphasized the risk was very small and the authority was offering testing purely as a precaution.