December 26, 2018 / 3:47 AM / 4 months ago

New Jersey urges patients at facility to check for HIV infections

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New Jersey health officials have urged more than 3,700 former patients of a surgical facility to get blood tests “out of an abundance of caution,” because they may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

Although the risk of infection is low, patients who had procedures at the HealthPlus Surgery Center in Saddle Brook in northern New Jersey between Jan. 1 and Sept. 7 may have been exposed to infections, the state Department of Health said in an email on Tuesday.

“The department is not aware of any illness as a result of the infection control issues,” it said.

HealthPlus has notified 3,778 former patients that a health department investigation found that “lapses in infection control in sterilization/cleaning instruments and the injection of medications” may have exposed them to HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

“You can be infected with these diseases and not feel sick at all,” said the HealthPlus letter, which was provided by the department in its email.

HealthPlus told patients it would pay for all costs associated with the testing.

Reporting by Peter Szekely; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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