Hepatitis Outbreak

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Dodge County District Judge Samson is nearing a decision on whether lawsuits stemming from a 2002 hepatitis C outbreak in Fremont will be tried in Dodge County or at another site.

He told attorneys at a pretrial conference Thursday that he will make his announcement within six weeks.

In December, attorneys for former Fremont Cancer Clinic oncologist Tahir Javed and nurse Linda Prochaska requested a change of venue for a malpractice lawsuit filed against them by the family of Cheryl Gentry.

The 49-year-old Gentry died in March 2003 of liver complications after allegedly contracting hepatitis C at the clinic.

Gentry was one of 99 people who tested positive for the infection during screenings in the fall of 2002 and the spring of 2003.

All 99 had received treatment at the clinic between March 2000 and December 2001.

Since the screenings, 117 lawsuits have been filed in district court.

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How You Can Contract Hepatitis C

  • Injecting street drugs, as the needles and/or other drug "works" used to prepare or inject the drug(s) may have had someone else's blood that contained HCV on them.

  • Receiving blood, blood products, or solid organs from a donor whose blood contained HCV.

  • Being on long-term kidney dialysis as you may have unknowingly shared supplies/equipment that had someone else's blood on them.

  • Being a healthcare worker who had frequent contact with blood on the job, especially accidental needlesticks.

  • Having a mother who had hepatitis C at the time she gave birth to you. During the birth her blood may have gotten into your body.

  • Having sex with a person infected with HCV.

  • Living with someone who was infected with HCV and shared items such as razors or toothbrushes that might have had his/her blood on them.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hepatitis/c/faq.htm#1b (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).