MIRACLE MILE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) –
One hundred letters are being sent to people who might have been exposed to hepatitis C while seeking treatment at a Miracle Mile clinic.
The sign outside the Westside Multi-Specilaty Group, a doctor's clinic located at 6200 Wilshire Boulevard on the 12th floor of a high-rise building, says they are closed to renovations. The office belongs to a nurse practitioner who told eyewitness news that the renovation has nothing to do with an ongoing study conducted by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
The department identified six acute cases of hepatitis C in patients seen at the clinic, but did not determine how the condition was transmitted.
"We know that they have made procedures for giving injections or infusions or other procedures that you know might endanger anyone," says Dr. Muntu Davis of the Health Department.
In addition to the procedures of the clinic, the infected have not reported other forms of blood for blood contact, which is how you get hepatitis C.
Public health has sent 500 letters to anyone treated at the office between January 201
Hepatitis C causes inflammation of the liver, which can lead to severe liver damage and even liver failure.
"If you received care at this clinic, we want you to be aware of the potential exposure to hepatitis C and recommend that you be tested," Davis said.
But the lawyer represents the Westside Multi-Specialty Group told Eyewitness News, his client is not guilty.
"We are talking about six cases that I do not think they will ever be able to show or demonstrate causality that goes back to the provider," said lawyer Richard Moss.
Moss said there is no evidence that this is an ongoing problem and sending hundreds of letters was unnecessary.
"This is overreaching by the government to enlarge a problem, which may be a valid problem, but all of a sudden going out to a patient base of 500?" Added Moss.
If you think you've been exposed to hepatitis C, county health says you should also be tested for hepatitis B and HIV because all three are transmitted in the same way.
The good news is treatment is available and the six people le affected are doing well.
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