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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Cause of hepatitis C outbreak unclear

By  Liu Xiangrui and Li Yao  (China Daily)

09:16, December 01, 2011

A child who has contracted hepatitis C receives treatment in a hospital in Anhui province on Tuesday. At least 13 people in the province have contracted the disease. LIU JUNXI / XINHUA

ZHENGZHOU - Six cases of hepatitis C were reported in Yongcheng city, Central China's Henan province, where a rural clinic is accused of reusing unclean needles, thus infecting at least 13 people in the neighboring Anhui province.

So far, 104 people in Henan and 76 in Anhui have tested positive for having hepatitis C antibodies but will have to take more tests to confirm if they have contracted the disease.

Among the 76 who tested positive in Anhui, most were children aged 10 or below.

Zhou Yong, head of the emergency office with Henan's public health department, who has led an investigative panel probing the case since Tuesday, told China Daily his chief concern was to verify whether the rural Miaoqian clinic was where the outbreak started.

He said his team found little evidence of recycling of dirty needles, having inspected conditions in the clinic, its intravenous injection procedures, purchasing channels of medicines and other medical supplies.

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