BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Health
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Background Briefings 
Medical notes 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Wednesday, 23 May, 2001, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
Hepatitis C alert at hospitals
Blood bag
The virus affects sufferers' blood

More than 200 women and 30 babies are being called for blood tests after it emerged they may have come into contact with a health worker carrying hepititis C.

Patients at two hospitals in Essex and Surrey are involved in the alert.

At the Princess Alexandra Hospital at Harlow in Essex, 67 women and seven babies could be affected.

At Epsom General Hospital in Surrey 161 women and 23 babies are being asked to take the precautionary tests.

Low risk

Mark Purcell, an NHS spokesman, said the tests were precautionary and that the risk of infection was very slim.

All patients thought to be at risk will be informed in writing.
Maternity ward and nurse
Tests are being carried out on babies

They may have been treated by the health worker between autumn last year and early this year

The member of staff, is no longer working at either hospital, but remains in the NHS.

Hepatitis C is a virus which circulates in the blood and may cause inflammation of the liver.

The infection can also be passed from a sufferer through contact with their blood.

One in five people with hepatitis C recover completely. In some cases the infection can cause chronic liver disease.

An information line has been set up by the hospitals through NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

01 Nov 99 | Health
Don't panic about Hepatitis C
29 Jul 99 | Health
Hepatitis C tests win approval
08 Apr 99 | Medical notes
Blood: The risks of infection
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories