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Over 200 infected with hepatitis virus


11:45, December 04, 2011

HEFEI - More than 200 villagers, many of them children, have been found infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) in East and Central China over the past two weeks, with the reuse of old needles by a rural clinic suspected as the cause.

From November 17 to December 1, 105 people from the Dancheng township of Woyang county in the eastern province of Anhui tested positive for the disease, a spokesman with the Woyang Health Bureau said Saturday.

But no serious cases have been reported, he said.

Earlier, 104 people in the neighboring Maqiao township of Yongcheng city in central province of Henan had also tested positive for the virus, and six of them had been confirmed as HCV patients.

Investigators are focusing on a doctor at a privately-run village clinic in Maqiao. Wu Wenyi, 60, is suspected of causing the infection by reusing old needles.

Local residents said Wu, a village doctor for four decades, seldom changed needles, and is known as the "miracle doctor" for his ability to alleviate patients' fever and diarrhea through injections and a few tablets.

HCV is mainly transmitted through contact with infected blood. It can also spread through sex, and from mother to baby during delivery. The infection may lead to liver cancer.


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