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Six more found infected after Hepatitis C outbreak in central China

(Xinhua)

21:19, November 29, 2011

HEFEI, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Six people were confirmed to be infected with the Hepatitis C virus in central Henan province Tuesday after a bordering region in Anhui province reported an outbreak of the disease Monday.

A total of 104 people in Maqiao township of Yongcheng city in Henan have tested positive for Hepatitis C virus in a preliminary screening. Of all, six have been confirmed as Hepatitis C patients in further tests, the Yongcheng city health bureau said in a statement Tuesday.

In Guoyang county in Anhui, 56 people, mostly children, have tested positive for the Hepatitis C virus in a preliminary screening. Further nucleic acid tests on 16 confirmed 13 were infected.

An initial investigation by local health authorities showed all 56 once received intravenous injections at a clinic in Maqiao township of Yongcheng city and the reuse of needles at the village clinic might have caused the outbreak.

Wu Wenyi, a man in his 60s who runs the village clinic in Maqiao township, is not a licensed doctor, the Yongcheng city health bureau said. A further investigation is underway to to see if he is behind the outbreak, it added.

A villager surnamed Yang in Guoyang said doctor Wu can cure fever and diarrhea for children with one injection that costs 10 to 20 yuan (1.6 to 3.1 U.S. dollars), and people living within a radius of 20 km came to see him for health issues.

Yang brought his wife and 9-month-old daughter for a medical check at the county people's hospital Tuesday, as they had all received medical treatment at the suspect clinic.

"We never saw him change the needles and don't even know what medication he prescribed," Yang said.

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