Investigates: 3 Test Positive For Viruses After Potential Exposure At Atrium Health Urology Office
Channel 9 has heard from dozens of people after our report about potential exposure to life-changing viruses after having procedures an Atrium Health urology office in Charlotte, all being told by Atrium that they need to test for HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.
Three of them have tested positive for viruses, 9 Investigates learned this week. They all have questions about what happened, and what they need to do next.
It all stems from a quality assurance audit done at the Kenilworth office.
Atrium Health said, We discovered that certain cleaning and sanitization logs we require were not being accurately kept within a urology practice at our Kenilworth facility. Because of this, we cant verify that all of the necessary steps were taken to make sure equipment used in treatment was ready for patient use.
Channel 9 spoke to 80-year-old Bobby McDougall, who said he had a procedure done at Atrium Health Urology Kenilworth on Sept. 2, 2021.
McDougall says he got a call earlier this month from Atrium Health saying that he needed to get blood work following a procedure 14 months prior. A message on his MyChart page showed up a few days later, saying reactive to Hepatitis B.
Its positive, and Im thinking, Oh my gosh, what in the world is going on? McDougall told Channel 9s Hannah Goetz.
His wife, Patty, said thats how they first got the notice.
What Is The Outlook For People With Hepatitis B
The outlook for people with HBV is better now than ever before. You are certainly able to live a full life and help yourself stay healthy. You should make sure to have regular check-ups with a healthcare provider who is qualified to treat hepatitis B, possibly a liver doctor.
Make sure you are vaccinated against hepatitis A. Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking other medications or over-the-counter products, including supplements and natural products. These could interfere with your medication or damage your liver. For instance, taking acetaminophen in large doses may harm your liver.
Follow the usual guidelines for living a healthy life:
- Eat nutritious foods, choosing from a variety of vegetables, fruits and healthy proteins. It is said that cruciferous vegetables are especially good at protecting the liver.
- Exercise regularly.
- Dont smoke and dont drink. Both tobacco and alcohol are bad for your liver.
- Do things that help you cope with stress, like journaling, talking with others, meditating and doing yoga.
- Avoid inhaling toxic fumes.
Is Hepatitis B Contagious
Hepatitis B is highly contagious. Its transmitted through contact with blood and certain other bodily fluids. Although the virus can be found in saliva, its not transmitted through sharing utensils or kissing. Its also not transmitted through sneezing, coughing, or breastfeeding.
Symptoms of hepatitis B may not appear for 3 months after exposure. Symptoms can last for several weeks.
But even without symptoms, you can still transmit the infection to others. The virus can live outside the body and remains infectious for at least
Hepatitis B is a highly contagious condition. Its associated with many serious complications, some of which can be life threatening.
But there are many treatment options available and multiple ways you can prevent infection, including getting vaccinated.
If you suspect you may have been exposed to hepatitis B, its important to talk with a doctor to prevent infection and determine the best course of treatment for you.
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When Should I Get An At
There are no guidelines about when a person should take an at-home hepatitis B test.
At-home hepatitis B testing is not a confirmation of an HBV infection, but it can offer information that may be helpful when talking to your doctor. Individuals who may have been exposed or at risk must contact their health care provider who can offer specific advice to your needs and order appropriate diagnostic tests. Early symptoms of a hepatitis B infection generally include fever, fatigue, dark urine, off-colored stools, and/or yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes.
What Should You Know About Hepatitis B Before You Travel
Hepatitis B is quite common in China and other Asian countries, where as many as 1 in 12 people have the virus, though many dont know it. Before traveling to those places, you should make sure youve been vaccinated against the virus.
In addition to getting the vaccine, you can take these additional precautions to reduce your risk of contracting the virus:
- Refrain from taking illegal drugs.
- Always use latex or polyurethane condoms during sex.
- Make sure new, sterile needles are used during all piercings, tattoos and acupuncture sessions.
- Avoid direct contact with blood and bodily fluids.
- Know the HBV status of all your sexual partners.
- Ask your doctor about possible vaccination before you travel to a place where hepatitis B is common.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hepatitis B is a liver disease that can cause serious damage to your health. One reason that is dangerous is that it can easily go undetected for years while damaging your liver. Talk with your healthcare provider about being tested for hepatitis B if you have any reason to believe that you were not vaccinated or if you have engaged in risky behavior. If you do test positive, follow the directions from your healthcare provider so that you can live a longer, healthier and happier life.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/09/2020.
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What Is Hepatitis B
A hepatitis virus is one that lives in liver cells and causes inflammation. Different hepatitis viruses have been given different names, such as A, B, and C.
Hepatitis B is a contagious liver disease that ranges in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness .
Acute hepatitis B virus infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to HBV. Acute infection can but does not always lead to chronic infection.
Chronic hepatitis B virus infection is a long-term illness that occurs when the virus remains in a person’s body.
- Sex with an infected partner
- Sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment
- Sharing items such as razors or toothbrushes with an infected person
- Direct contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person
What Are My Next Steps Once I Get My Results
It can be difficult to understand what the results of your test mean. A healthcare provider can help you interpret your results and decide whether you need to take further action:
- If your results suggest that youre already immune to hepatitis B and arent contagious, you likely wont need to do anything.
- If your results suggest that youre not immune, a doctor may recommend vaccination, especially if youre somebody whos at a high risk of infection.
You may also need additional testing if more information is needed to interpret your results.
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How Is Hepatitis B Prevented
Testing & Vaccination
- The hepatitis B vaccine offers excellent protection against HBV. The vaccine is safe and highly effective. Vaccination consists of 3 doses of vaccine over the course of 6 months. Protection lasts for 20 years to life.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children should receive hepatitis B vaccine starting at birth. .
- The CDC recommends hepatitis B vaccine for persons traveling to countries where HBV is common .
- If you have one or more risk factors for hepatitis B infection, you should get a simple HBV blood test. The blood test will determine whether you are:
- immune to hepatitis B or
- susceptible to hepatitis B and need vaccination or
- infected with hepatitis B and need further evaluation by a physician
- California law requires testing of all pregnant women for hepatitis B infection
- If the mother is HBV-infected, she will pass the infection to the baby during the birth process, unless the baby gets immunized within hours of birth
- Giving the infant HBIG and HBV vaccine right away will reliably prevent infection of the infant
- Other family members should best tested for hepatitis B too, and given vaccine if they are not already infected or immune
After Exposure to Hepatitis B
Preparing Clients For Screening
Once clients are comfortable talking about viral , they might be more willing to undergo screening. However, clients might be anxious about the test itself a reassurance that testing is a simple procedure can help allay these concerns. Many substance use treatment facilities do not offer screening, and clients might need to be referred elsewhere. The following strategies can enhance the discussion of the hepatitis screening process and hepatitis prevention:
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How Hepatitis B Is Passed On
Hepatitis B is usually passed through blood to blood contact. This might be through sharing needles when injecting drugs, a cut that comes into contact with infected blood, unsterilised equipment used for tattooing or body piercing, or sharing razors or toothbrushes contaminated with infected blood or bodily fluids. It can also be passed from mother to child at birth.
It can be transmitted through unprotected sex. This is rare and the risk can be reduced if you use a condom.
How Is Hepatitis B Treated
Your healthcare provider will treat you based on what type of hepatitis B you have, acute or chronic.
Acute hepatitis B infections
If you develop an acute form of the condition, you probably wont need medical treatment. Instead, your doctor will likely suggest that you get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids and maintain a healthy diet to support your body as it fights off the infection.
Chronic hepatitis B infections
If you have chronic hepatitis B, you might be a candidate for drug therapy. Usually, drug therapy is used only if you have active liver disease. There are seven drugs that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat hepatitis B. Two are injectable forms of interferon, while the five other antivirals are tablets.
You will need to take these medications every day. They help by slowing the viruss ability to multiply in your system. This helps reduce swelling and liver damage. Youll need to be regularly monitored for early signs of liver damage and liver cancer. Your healthcare provider will want to see you once or twice a year.
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How Do People Get The Hbv Virus
Hepatitis B virus is found in the blood of people with HBV infection. It enters the body through blood-to-blood contact.
Reliable blood tests for HBV were developed many years ago. Since blood donors and blood products are tested for HBV, this is no longer the typical means of infection.
In many parts of the world, hepatitis B virus infects more than 8% of the population. HBV-infected women pass the infection to their babies during the birth process. People can also get hepatitis B by sharing needles for injection drug use, through sexual contact with an infected person, by an accidental needlestick with a contaminated needle, or from improperly sterilized medical, acupuncture, piercing, or tattooing equipment.
The Hep B Blood Tests
There are 3 hep B tests called HBsAg, anti-HBs, and anti-HBc. You should make sure your doctor does all three hep B tests. Our hep B testing chart can explain each test and help you to make sure your doctor does all the tests you need.
These three tests tell you if you have hep B, if you are protected against hep B , and if you have ever come into contact with hep B. Getting all three tests is important to helps you and our doctor understand your hep B status.
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Why Take The At
The hepatitis B surface antigen test measures the levels of proteins, called antigens, that are found on the surface of hepatitis B virus. These antigens are normally found in the blood of an infected person, few weeks after exposure. These antigens are the earliest sign of this virus.
This test is the best tool to see if a liver infection may be caused by the hepatitis B virus. If you are at high risk of contracting hepatitis B then, you need to be checked routinely. Risk factors include having unprotected sex with an infected person, being in close contact with someone who is infected, being gay or bisexual, sharing needles with infected people, working in a healthcare center around the infection, being a baby who was born of a hepatitis B positive mom.
Aside from screening and looking fo an active infection, this test is helpful to follow up and assess the course of treatment chosen to manage the infection.
Sensitivity Panels And Seroconversion Panels
The HBsAg sensitivity panels PHA206 and PHA808 were used to estimate the analytical sensitivity of the DRW-HBsAg assay. The HBsAg mixed-titer performance panel PHA206 consists of a set of 23 specimens with reactivities in commercial screening tests ranging from weakly to strongly positive. The HBsAg sensitivity panel PHA808 consists of 10 ad and 10 ay subtype specimens with HBsAg concentrations ranging from 0.71 to 0.02 and from 0.67 to 0.02 IU/ml, respectively. Eight seroconversion panels , consisting of serial specimens collected at known intervals from individual plasma donors during seroconversion, were also tested. In addition, an HBsAg panel consisting of 10 calibrated members representing all common serotypes was obtained for testing from the Institut National de Transfusion Sanguine .
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Discussing Screening Results With Clients
The medical personnel who ordered or arranged the screening test, not counselors, usually explain the results. Hepatitis screening should be part of the intake physical examination in an opioid treatment program, and medical personnel may report the results. However, the client may want to discuss the results with the counselor or ask the counselor questions.
Anxiety might interfere with some clients ability to comprehend or retain information, which might need to be repeated.
Suggestions for conversations with clients when the test results are negative include the following:
- Explain results clearly and simply: So the HCV screening result was negative? This means that, as of 6 months ago, you did not have .
- Emphasize that a negative result to an HCV test does not indicate to and that the client should take precautions to avoid . If a relapse to drug use occurs, advise clients to avoid sharing any drug paraphernalia or equipment. Specify that this includes cookers, cotton, water, needles, syringes, pipes, and straws.
- Emphasize the importance of getting HAV and HBV vaccinations. Provide information about the availability of low- or no-cost vaccinations.
Clients whose screening test results are positive for will need additional tests and examinationsusually with doctors who specialize in diseases of the liver to get accurate diagnoses and to determine their health status and the extent of liver damage. These tests are described in .
Recommended Tests To Investigate Chronic Hbv Infection And The Interpretation Of Results
Chronic HBV infection is defined by the continued presence of HBsAg in the blood for longer than six months. Figure Figure11 and Table Table22 outline the tests used to diagnose most cases of chronic HBV. Test selection should be based on the person’s risk factors, vaccination history and findings from previous tests .
Diagnostic tests for acute or chronic hepatitis B virus infection . ALT Alanine aminotransferase Anti-HAV-IgM Immunoglobulin M class antibody to HAV Anti-HCV Antibody to HCV antigens HBsAg Hepatitis B surface antigen
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American Association For The Study Of Liver Diseases Recommendations
The 2015 AASLD recommendations for the initial evaluation of HBsAg-positive patients is summarized below.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hepatitis B information for health professionals: hepatitis B FAQs for health professionals. http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HBV/index.htm. Available at . Updated May 31, 2015 Accessed: May 23, 2017.
Sorrell MF, Belongia EA, Costa J, et al. National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference Statement: management of hepatitis B. Ann Intern Med. 2009 Jan 20. 150:104-10. . .
Nguyen MH, Wong G, Gane E, Kao JH, Dusheiko G. Hepatitis B virus: advances in prevention, diagnosis, and therapy. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2020 Mar 18. 33:e2128652. . .
World Health Organization. Hepatitis B. July 27, 2021. Available at . Accessed: December 2, 2021.
McMahon BJ, Holck P, Bulkow L, Snowball M. Serologic and clinical outcomes of 1536 Alaska Natives chronically infected with hepatitis B virus. Ann Intern Med. 2001 Nov 6. 135:759-68. .
Chang MH, Chen CJ, Lai MS, et al. Universal hepatitis B vaccination in Taiwan and the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma in children. Taiwan Childhood Hepatoma Study Group. N Engl J Med. 1997 Jun 26. 336:1855-9. .
Te HS, Jensen DM. Epidemiology of hepatitis B and C viruses: a global overview. Clin Liver Dis. 2010 Feb. 14:1-21, vii. .
What Should You Know About Pregnancy And Hepatitis B
A pregnant woman who has hepatitis B can pass the infection to her baby at delivery. This is true for both vaginal and cesarean deliveries.
You should ask your healthcare provider to test you for hepatitis B when you find out you are pregnant. However, while it is important for you and your healthcare provider to know if you do have hepatitis B, the condition should not affect the way that your pregnancy progresses.
If you do test positive, your provider may suggest that you contact another healthcare provider, a liver doctor, who is skilled in managing people with hepatitis B infections. You may have a high viral load and may need treatment during the last 3 months of your pregnancy. A viral load is the term for how much of the infection you have inside of you.
You can prevent your infant from getting hepatitis B infection by making sure that your baby gets the hepatitis B vaccine in the hours after they are born along with the hepatitis B immunoglobulin. These two shots are given in two different locations on the baby. They are the first shots needed.
Depending on the type of vaccine used, two or three more doses must be given, usually when the baby is 1 month old and then 6 months old, with the last by the time the baby is 1 year old. It is critical that all newborns get the hepatitis B vaccination, but even more important if you have hepatitis B yourself.
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