Patients urged to get tested for Hep. C, Hep. B and HIV.
By Sam Catanzaro
Hundreds of patients who received care from a Westside health center are being urged by public health officials to get tested for hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV after six patients who underwent procedures at the clinic were diagnosed with hepatitis C.
Last week, Los Angeles Department of Public Health (Public Health), announced a possible hepatitis C exposure at Westside Multispecialty Medical Group located at 6200 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 1212, Los Angeles. Public Health recommends that all patients who received injections, infusions or procedures at this clinic between January 2016 and December 2018 be tested for hepatitis C.
In addition to hepatitis C, Public Health is recommending that patients also be tested for hepatitis B and HIV, as these infections may also spread through contact with blood.
Public Health identified six acute cases of hepatitis C in patients seen at this clinic. The mechanism of transmission, however, has not yet been determined and no other infections have been identified in relation to this clinic.
“The clinic has voluntarily closed while the investigation continues. The patients infected with hepatitis C received procedures at this clinic and did not report other forms of blood-to-blood contact. Hepatitis C virus is usually transmitted through blood-to-blood contact, such as during IV drug use or as a result of lapses in infection control procedures in healthcare settings,” Public Health said in a statement. “Testing is important as many patients who develop these infections do not develop any symptoms, but there are steps people can take to treat the infections, protect their health, and prevent giving infections to others.”
Public Health sent approximately 500 letters to individuals who received care at the Westside Multispecialty Medical Group with information about hepatitis C and instructions on how to obtain free testing at Public Health clinics or obtain testing at private providers at their own expense. Patients who believe they were seen at this clinic and have not received a letter should call (213) 288-8787 for more information, including guidance on how to arrange for testing.