Mount Olive Hepatitis Outbreak Prompts New Law

A new North Carolina law aims to prevent infectious diseases like one that killed six residents at a Wayne County assisted living center in 2010.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the law taking effect this month is designed to save lives by requiring cleaner practices and better trained staff.

Dr. Thomas Bender with Duke University says the law is an effort to deal with faulty diabetes care causing an increasing number of hepatitis outbreaks. The former investigator for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says North Carolina's program compares well to other states' efforts.

The changes were prompted after residents died at the Wayne County nursing home from what public health officials said were undertrained employees misusing infection-tainted diabetes instruments.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the hepatitis-related deaths of six North Carolina nursing home residents shows the need for vigilance in infection control

In a report released in February 2011, the agency said the hepatitis outbreak at GlenCare of Mount Olive shows health officials need to step up efforts to ensure compliance with safety guidelines.

State health officials found violations in 2010 at the facility involving the unsafe sharing of blood glucose monitoring equipment. They said the faulty procedures likely spread Hepatitis B to eight elderly residents, including six who died.

The CDC review says similar lapses have caused 16 outbreaks of Hepatitis B at assisted living facilities around the country since 2004.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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