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Health
Another IHS clinic concerned about exposure to deadly viruses


Another Indian Health Service facility has warned patients about the potential exposure to deadly viruses.

IHS placed a notice in the September 2010 issue of the Gaduwa Cherokee News, the newspaper of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians. It asked people who were treated at the Sam Hider Dental Clinic to come forward "as soon as possible."

Tribal members said they weren't told the exact reason for the notice. But they discovered that they might have been exposed to HIV and other viruses by the type of medication they were given by the IHS.

"At the same time [we're] investigating a lead right now that the patients were not initially informed that they may have been exposed to HIV," newspaper reporter Thomas Jordan told KSWT-TV. "It was the medicine that they were given that tipped them off that they may have been exposed to it."

A similar situation has unfolded at the Fort Yuma Hospital in Arizona. Members of the Cocopah Tribe and the Quechan Nation have been told they might have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

Both cases center around problems with sterilization of equipment.

Get the Story:
Another Tribal Community possibly exposed to deadly viruses (KSWT-TV 10/6)

Related Stories:
IHS patients in Arizona potentially exposed to deadly viruses (10/5)