4 St. Louis veterans test positive for hepatitis

Friday, July 30, 2010 | 10:46 a.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS — Four veterans treated at the St. Louis VA Medical Center's dental clinic have tested positive for hepatitis, but further testing is needed to determine if inadequately sterilized dental equipment is to blame.

The Department of Veterans Affairs provided test results on Friday to The Associated Press.

The VA last month sent letters to 1,812 veterans treated at the clinic from Feb. 1, 2009, through March 11, 2010, urging them to take blood tests because the cleaning errors could have exposed them to hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV.

The VA says the risk of infection is remote.

The VA says 1,022 veterans have been tested and notified of results. Of those, two tested positive for hepatitis B, two tested positive for hepatitis C, and none tested positive for HIV.

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