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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
NORTH DAKOTA: ND Health Department Investigating Hepatitis C Cluster
Staff Writer
August 13, 2013
WDAZ8 Television (Grand Forks, N.D.) (08.12.2013) Aids Weekly Plus

Officials with the North Dakota Department of Health are investigating three recent cases of acute hepatitis C infection in Ward County. The infected individuals were two women and one man, all older than 60. According to Lindsey VanderBusch with the North Dakota Department of Health’s Division of Disease Control, most hepatitis C cases reported to the department were chronic, with the individual perhaps having the infection for years without ever experiencing symptoms. The department categorized the three recently reported cases as acute, meaning the infections were recent. According to VanderBusch, it was unusual to have three acute cases within a few months in the same geographical area. Testing has indicated that the virus from the three cases was linked genetically, which suggested the possibility of a common source. Health officials are continuing to investigate how the three individuals might have been exposed and if there was a common source. Officials might contact individuals associated with these cases considered to be at risk to give guidance concerning being tested for hepatitis C.