350 more patients screened for hepatitis C

The Singapore General Hospital (SGH) has begun screening around 350 more patients for hepatitis C, on the advice of an independent review committee investigating an outbreak of the disease there.

These patients stayed in Wards 64A and 67, which were affected by the outbreak, between July and September. The committee believes that screening them will verify if precautionary measures put in place in the wake of the outbreak have been effective. The hospital had originally decided to screen those who stayed in the wards between January and June.

On Oct 6, SGH announced that 22 kidney patients who had been admitted to the two affected wards were diagnosed with hepatitis C. There were eight deaths, five of which may be linked to the viral infection. Yesterday, the hospital said it had screened 602 patients so far, of which 596 tested negative. Three tested positive.

The results for three more patients are pending. Of the 312 staff also screened for the virus, all tested negative.

Earlier this month, the Health Ministry appointed an the independent review committee to look into the matter. Last week, two international experts were invited to provide advice. They have returned to the United States, but will provide input through e-mail, phone calls and video conferences.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2015, with the headline '350 more patients screened for hep C'. Print Edition | Subscribe