SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

DHEC Hepatitis B investigation continues

The Department of Health and Environmental Control announced on May 29 that it will expand its investigation on patients at a spinal care center in Charleston, NC, including tests for disease.

The DHEC's investigation of Tri-County Spinal Care Center on Dorchester Road in North Charleston begun after a review of infection control procedures and practices showed potential for infection exposure. The DHEC has thus encouraged all patients in the facility that have received injections since September 2011 to be checked for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.

The facility's injection practices have been static since September 2011, which means the DHEC cannot ensure any patients that received injections between then and now were not exposed to blood-borne pathogens.

Hepatitis B is a virus that infects the liver. Some may not know they are infected; however, the disease can still be transmitted by a carrier without symptoms. If infected, some may experience flu-like symptoms.

DHEC is reaching out to all patients that have received injections at the facility to be tested; injections include spinal, joint, IV fluids, etc.

The DHEC is encouraging any previous patients at that facility to visit their health care providers to receive recommended tests, or to visit DHC's Northwoods Health Clinic on Northbrook Boulevard in North Charleston.