Thirty patients test positive

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Thirty out of approximately 1,000 former endoscopy and dental surgery patients of the High Prairie Health Complex have tested positive for hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV, health officials in High Prairie told CBC News on Wednesday.

The tests were ordered last fall after it was revealed single-use syringes had been reused at the health complex to inject medication into intravenous lines for years.

Final numbers are not in yet, and the statistics could simply be a reflection of the prevalence of these infections in the general population, according to Alberta’s acting chief medical officer of health, Dr. Gerry Predy.

“These infections they’re looking for … hepatitis B and C and HIV, are relatively common. So if you’re going to test hundreds of people, you will get some positives,” he said.

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