Sixth hepatitis B death reported at N.C. assisted living center

There has been a sixth reported death in connection with an outbreak of hepatitis B at a North Carolina assisted living center.

Public Health officials in North Carolina have announced that a former resident of GlenCare of Mount Olive died on November 23, according to Officials have not released the cause of death, but the officials acknowledge that the woman was diagnosed with hepatitis B in October during the screening of residents at the facility.

Additional testing revealed that at least two other residents have antibodies to the disease, which suggests a possible infection, but neither was diagnosed and both have since recovered, reports.

On November 12, the North Carolina Division of Public Health confirmed that  the improper use of blood glucose level testers is most likely to blame for the outbreak.

State investigators say that during interviews with Glen Care of Mount Olive Assisted Living employees, one admitted that the same blood testing needles were shared between patients at the facility.

The official investigation has not revealed how the hepatitis B first entered the facility, reports. Officials believe it was possible that it came from a patient who was a chronic carrier who died or was discharged before the investigation started.