Clinic connected to hepatitis C outbreak

Updated: 2012-01-10 14:02


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BEIJING - A village clinic in central Henan province is connected with a recent outbreak of hepatitis C infection, said a Health Ministry spokesman here Tuesday.

According to an investigation by Henan's health department, the infectious incident was "highly related to medical operations" at a village clinic in the city of Yongcheng in Henan, said Deng Haihua, the ministry spokesman, at a press conference.

A total of 86 people have been infected with hepatitis C in the township of Maqiao in Henan and Dancheng in neighboring Anhui province. The outbreak was first reported in late October 2011.

The local health department has withdrawn the clinic's license. Wu Shaohua and Wu Wenyi, the doctors who ran the clinic, have been suspended from practicing, Deng said.

Dozens of officials at the local health department have received administrative punishments or been dismissed from their posts, he said.

Hepatitis C is viral and is mainly transmitted through contact with contaminated blood, although it can also spread through sexual contact and from mother to child during delivery. Infections can lead to liver cancer.

To close the loopholes in the operation of village clinics, the ministry has said it will order health departments at the county level to step up supervision of village doctors, Deng said.

The country will also strive to improve the management of village clinics, help them update facilities, and provide more training, he said.