Alternative medicine and hepatitis B

NEW YORK, July 31 (Praxis Press) Blood screening, immunization, and infection control policies have made hospital outbreaks of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection rare; in contrast, community outbreaks of HBV remain problematic. Using molecular epidemiology, Webster and colleagues traced the origin and spread of HBV infection acquired by a woman who attended a London clinic for autohemotherapy. Sixteen percent of the 352 clinic patients 4 staff members tested had serologic evidence of HBV infectio

The Scientist Staff
Jul 31, 2000

NEW YORK, July 31 (Praxis Press) Blood screening, immunization, and infection control policies have made hospital outbreaks of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection rare; in contrast, community outbreaks of HBV remain problematic. Using molecular epidemiology, Webster and colleagues traced the origin and spread of HBV infection acquired by a woman who attended a London clinic for autohemotherapy. Sixteen percent of the 352 clinic patients 4 staff members tested had serologic evidence of HBV infection. Ninety-one percent of 33 patients and staff members who were positive for hepatitis B surface antigen had matching nucleotide sequences for the surface and core genes. Analysis identified a patient as the likely source of the outbreak and contaminated saline as the probable vehicle. Despite heightened regulations and licensing requirements, patients attending alternative-medicine clinics are still at risk of bloodborne infections.

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