TULSA — A Tulsa-area dentist whose practice was shut down because his equipment was rusty and his employees reused needles was responsible for the nation's first transmission of hepatitis C among patients in a dental office, Oklahoma health officials said Wednesday.
Citing genetic testing performed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oklahoma's state epidemiologist said there was at least one instance in which Dr. W. Scott Harrington's practice spread an infectious disease.
State health inspectors shut down Harrington's clinic March 28 after finding unsanitary conditions.
Health officials urged tests for 7,000 of Harrington's patients to determine whether they had contracted an infectious disease. Of 4,202 tested at state clinics, 89 tested positive for hepatitis C, five for hepatitis B and four for the virus that causes AIDS. In only one instances was it proven that the virus was contracted at a clinic, the CDC said.