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Chinese hepatitis C outbreak not caused by clinic's needles: initial probe


14:34, December 12, 2011

ZHENGZHOU, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- An initial probe into a private clinic in central China has found no evidence that the clinic's needles were contaminated with hepatitis C, local officials said Monday.

Health authorities in Henan province will continue to investigate the clinic, located in the suburbs of the city of Yongcheng, where 103 people have become infected with hepatitis C after allegedly receiving intravenous injections at the clinic.

The outbreak was first reported in late October in the neighboring province of Anhui. A new source of infection has been traced to Yongcheng, where scores of new cases were found after the local government launched a screening program in the city's suburbs.

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.

The World Hepatitis Alliance estimates that about 170 million people have Hepatitis C, while another 350 million live with Hepatitis B in the world.

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