Last nine patients awaiting hep C screening results

Nine more patients are still waiting to find out if they have been cleared of hepatitis C.

They are the last of 601 patients screened thus far by the Singapore General Hospital (SGH), following the discovery of an infection cluster earlier this year.

SGH said in a statement yesterday that 589 have tested negative for the virus. Three were positive, and the rest are still pending.

SGH said it had also screened 310 staff. All but one have tested negative. The last result is still pending.

On Oct 6, the hospital announced that 22 kidney patients had contracted hepatitis C while receiving treatment in wards 64A and 67.

Eight patients died, with five of the deaths possibly linked to the viral infection.

Following this, it contacted patients who had stayed in these wards between January and June to screen them for the virus.

The three who tested positive were confirmed as having been infected from the same source as the original 22 patients.

An independent review committee has been set up to investigate the spread of the virus. The hospital has not yet been able to determine the cause of the outbreak.

Last week, two international experts were invited to the committee to provide advice on the analyses, interpretation and reporting of the findings.

The hospital's own review committee completed its investigation of the last patient death last Tuesday, concluding that hepatitis C could have been a "contributing factor" in the death.

SGH also filed a police report on the same day in order to rule out any possibility of foul play.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 28, 2015, with the headline 'Last nine patients awaiting hep C screening results'. Print Edition | Subscribe