DMC is actively assisting The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) with its investigation of a Hepatitis C-positive healthcare worker who was recently arrested in New Hampshire for allegedly obtaining injectable narcotics and infecting patients with the Hepatitis C Virus. The individual worked for multiple health systems in Michigan. While he did work at DMC between 2004 and 2006, we have no reason to believe that he was infected with the Hepatitis C virus while under our employment. In fact, the only known test results while the individual worked in Michigan are negative. MDCH AS A PRECAUTIONARY MEASURE IS CONDUCTING AN INVESTIGATION TO IDENTIFY PATIENTS WHO MIGHT HAVE BEEN PUT AT RISK.
Period of Concern:
DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital, June 2005 - October 30, 2005, Interventional Radiology Department
DMC Harper University Hospital, October 31, 2005 - September 2006, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
Should you have questions, please contact the following:
- Your primary care provider/family doctor
- The Michigan Department of Community Health, Communicable Diseases Division, at 517-335-8165.
You may also contact the DMC at 1-888-300-3627. DMC will support testing of those patients unable to arrange this through their primary care provider by appointment through DMC Occupational Health Services, beginning August 21, 2012 at 1-888-300-3627.
Hepatitis C Frequently Asked Questions
What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is a group of diseases or conditions that affect the liver. Hepatitis can be caused by a virus, bacteria or environmental conditions. Hepatitis A, B and C are caused by a virus.
What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a viral infection that is carried in a person’s blood. It infects a person’s liver causing inflammation that can result in damage to the liver tissue.
Where can I get more information about Hepatitis C?
For more information about this virus, you can visit:
• The Michigan Department Community Health, website at www.michigan.gov/mdch
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/hepatitis
• Call the Michigan Department of Community Health, Communicable Diseases Division, at 517-373-3740.
SIGNS, SYMPTOMS, AND TREATMENT
What are the symptoms of Hepatitis C?
Most people who develop Hepatitis do not have symptoms at all. Some people may have symptoms such as loss of appetite, abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing of the skin, light colored stools, diarrhea, fatigue, or nausea.
Is there a treatment for Hepatitis C?
Some people with a new infection will “clear” it without therapy (20%) and never develop hepatitis, but others will become chronically infected (80%). Some people with chronic infection can be treated with effective antiviral medications. Talk to your primary healthcare provider about your care. Patients with Hepatitis C should avoid use of alcohol completely, or minimize consuption of alcohol.
What are the long-term effects of Hepatitis C?
In people with chronic infection, the disease can progress slowly over decades. The main outcome is damage to the liver. Some people will never have complications from chronic Hepatitis C infection but others can develop liver cirrhosis, liver failure, or (rarely) liver cancer or death.
Is there a vaccine for Hepatitis C?
Unfortunately, there is no vaccine available for Hepatitis C. It is important for people who have Hepatitis C to be vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B.
HEPATITIS C INFECTION
How is Hepatitis C passed from person to person?
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne disease so it requires direct transmission of blood from an infected person to the blood of someone who is not infected. Some examples include sharing needles during recreational drug use, tattooing with a dirty needle, or contact with a non-sterile piece of medical equipment such as a used syringe. Sexual transmission of Hepatitis C is possible but not common.
Is it possible that I could have Hepatitis and be infectious but not know it?
Yes, it is possible since many people don’t show any symptoms or don’t recognize them as any specific illness.
Who is at risk of getting Hepatitis C?
According to CDC, certain groups of people who are more susceptible to Hepatitis C virus infection should be tested, including:
• Anyone who has ever injected illegal drugs, even once
• People who were treated for clotting problems with blood products made before 1987
• People who received an organ transplant or blood transfusion before July 1992
• People who have ever received long-term hemodialysis treatment
• People with signs or symptoms of liver disease (e.g., abnormal liver enzyme tests)
• Persons with known exposures to Hepatitis C, such as:
• Healthcare workers after needle sticks involving blood from a patient with Hepatitis C
• Recipients of blood or organs from a donor who later tested positive for Hepatitis C
• Children born to HCV-positive mothers
• Household contacts of persons who are HCV positive
• Anyone born between 1945 and 1965 ("Baby Boomers")