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10 From Neb. Clinic Have Hepatitis

October 16, 2002

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FREMONT, Neb. (AP) _ Ten patients treated at a cancer clinic have hepatitis C and up to 10 more may have been infected, a state health official said.

Investigators suspect the outbreak began with a patient who was infected before coming to Dr. Tahir Javed’s hematology and oncology clinic, but they were still trying to determine how the virus spread, state epidemiologist Dr. Tom Safranek said.

Testing was urged for more than 600 other patients treated between March 2000 and December 2001. No one was in immediate danger, Safranek said.

In most patients, hepatitis C has no symptoms. It can cause liver failure but usually only after 20 years or more, Safranek said.

Javed’s clinic was closed as of Monday, Fremont Area Medical Center officials said. They said he went to his home country of Pakistan in July for a family medical emergency. The hospital was not under investigation.

Fremont is about 30 miles west of Omaha.

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