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Taiwan reports of Hepatitis C virus infections

Updated: 05 17 , 2017 14:04
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TAIPEI, May 16 -- Five patients have been diagnosed with the Hepatitis C virus due to repeated use of needles at a clinic in Taiwan's Taoyuan County, the island's disease control center said Tuesday.

This is the first hepatitis C virus outbreak ever reported at a Taiwan medical institution, according to Yang Ching-hui, a division chief at the center.

The center said that it had recently received reports of five acute cases of Hepatitis C. An investigation found that all five patients had received intravenous injections at a clinic in Taoyuan, which had re-used syringes and needles on different patients.

The clinic has been ordered to suspend injection services to avoid further infections.

The center said those who had received injections at the clinic between June 10 last year and May 12, 2017 were advised to take blood tests as the incubation period of hepatitis C could be up to six months.

Hepatitis C virus is a major cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. It has been described as the "shadow epidemic."

The virus can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis, ranging in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong complaint, according to the World Health Organization.

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