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HAMC vigilant to prevent outbreaks

By Staff | Jan 3, 2014

The Hepatitis C outbreak linked to ManorCare Health Services in Minot is serving as a reminder to all area health facilities to be vigilant about infection control practices.

The North Dakota Department of Health with assistance from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified 44 cases as part of the outbreak.

ManorCare is not related to the Heart of America Medical Center in Rugby, but local health care employees are aware of the importance of preventing such problems.

“It could happen anywhere,” HAMC health services coordinator Mary Haugen said. “This outbreak is isolated to that facility, but things like this could happen elsewhere, if those practices aren’t followed.”?Haugen said HAMC uses a standard precautions model to prevent infected blood and other body fluids from being transferred from one patient to another. Employees are expected to wear gloves when anticipating contact with blood and body fluids.

“We provide a lot of education to our staff on safety,” Haugen said.

No Hepatitis C outbreaks have happened at HAMC. Gastrointestinal (GI) illness and other foodborne viruses are more easily spread. Hepatitis C is a virus that cannot be contracted by sharing eating utensils, hugging, kissing, holding hands, coughing or sneezing, and it is not spread through food or water.

– Tribune Staff Report

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