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More women infected by Hep C worker.

Byline: Julia McWatt Health Correspondent julia.mcwatt@walesonline.co.uk

ANOTHER two women were infected with hepatitis C after contact with a former healthcare worker, it has been confirmed.

Aneurin Bevan Health Board said that, as part of a lookback exercise to find any patients who may have contracted the disease from the worker, who is now retired, two further women had been identi-fied, bringing the total to four.

The exercise, which saw more than 3,300 patients being tested for the virus, was launched in September after the health board became aware that a former healthcare worker in obstetrics and gynaecology had been diagnosed with hepatitis C and had unknowingly transmitted the virus to two patients between May 1984 and July 2003.

Thousands of former patients were written to and tested for the virus, and it has been discovered that hepatitis C was transmitted from the former healthcare worker to the additional two women.

The healthcare worker was based mainly at Caerphilly District Miners' hospital but also worked for a short time at the old East Glamorgan Hospital in Church Village near Pontypridd and Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

Dr Gill Richardson, director of public health for Aneurin Bevan Health Board, said: "The four women in total now known to have had hepatitis C transmission from the former healthcare worker are being offered care and support by our specialist services.

"We understand that this is a very difficult and distressing time for them and we would ask that everyone respects their need for compassion and confidentiality.

"We are thankful that we have been able to reassure other women tested and are grateful to all the patients who came forward to take the test." Specialist clinics were set up across the Health Board areas from September 11 to November 16, and a dedicated helpline was established to provide support and guidance to patients.

A total of 4,528 telephone calls were received and 3,311 patients received blood tests in the specialist clinics or local GP surgeries.

Women who have received a letter but not yet come forward to have a blood test are being encouraged by health offi-cials to do so.

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Caerphilly Miners Hospital, where the contagious health worker was mainly based
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 29, 2013
Words:373
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