5 People Contracted HIV after Chinese Hospital Reused Needles
A Chinese hospital has admitted that one of its medical staff accidentally infected at least five people with HIV after reusing hypodermic needles on patients.
Hangzhou's Health and Family Planning Commission said on Thursday that the outbreak was reported to health authorities on Jan. 26, describing it as a "severe violation of procedure." Investigations found that a patient, who was tested with HIV, was the source of the virus. The Wall Street Journal reported that the blood screening revealed that the virus was spread to five other people after the technician gravely violated standard procedure and reused the same piece of equipment to five other patients.
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No official statement has been released about the details of the case yet, such as how many other patients have been exposed, what were they being treated for, or when the infection occurred, the BBC reported. Affected individuals, however, will be treated and will receive compensation.
At least five people have been arrested at Zhejiang Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine including the president and executive vice-president, according to South China Morning Post. The technician involved is now facing criminal investigation.
The recent incident has renewed fears among Chinese netizens. It can be recalled that some 20 years ago, poor safety policy and lack of regulation contributed to the spread of HIV/AIDS in China.
Meanwhile, with the increasing number of people affected with the disease in China, the country planned to double the number of HIV/AIDS patients to be treated using traditional Chinese medicine as part of its five-year plan.
China plans to collaborate between traditional Chinese medicine departments and national health and family planning commissions "to find a therapeutic regimen which combines traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicines."