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Thursday, 30 March, 2000, 12:34 GMT 13:34 UK
My hepatitis ordeal

Antonia Craig feared she had contracted the virus
One of those told she might have hepatitis C - but later given the all clear - has talked about the experience.

Antonia Craig, from Southampton, was treated by a surgeon who has now been found to have the hepatitis C virus.

She is campaigning for all health workers to be routinely screened for the infection.

Antonia was one of 1,400 people warned in October 1999 that there could be a risk - fortunately for her a blood test proved negative.

She said: "It was a very worrying, very anxious time as I had had a son since I saw this surgeon and I was worried I might have passed it on to him.

"Whilst it is only a slim chance, there is a chance you could be infected.

"I was lucky in that I went to my GP and got the results of the test back over a weekend, but that was bad enough.

Two week wait

"Some people I have spoken to had to wait two weeks for the results of their blood tests and they were absolutely terrified."

She added: "I think that the Government doesn't want to test doctors on the grounds of cost, but we are now talking about 6,000 people having to go through the hell of waiting for tests and results.

"We would like to see all medical staff tested twice a year for any transmissible disease.

"It's not just for patients but for doctors too - they might be infected by a patient and then blamed for transmitting it to other people."

Mrs Craig said: "Something has got to be done, because it is not only the worry of being recalled that is wrong.

"People begin to lose faith in the health service. You go into hospital to be treated and you come out to be told you might have hepatitis C. That can't be right."

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30 Mar 00 | Health
Thousands in hepatitis alert
30 Mar 00 | G-I
Hepatitis C
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