SGH hepatitis C cluster update: 653 patients screened, appointments made for 262 to be tested

SINGAPORE - Appointments have been made for another 262 patients to be screened for hepatitis C, the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) said in an update on Friday (Oct 30).

These patients stayed in Wards 64A and 67, which were affected by the outbreak, between January and September this year.

The hospital had originally decided to screen those who stayed in the wards between January and June.

But it was announced on Wednesday (Oct 28) that an independent committee looking into the outbreak had recommended that screening be extended to patients who stayed in the two wards between July and September. This will verify if precautionary measures put in place in the wake of the outbreak have been effective.

About 350 more patients are expected to be tested in this second round.

Earlier, SGH had tested about 600 patients warded from January to June.

By 1pm on Friday (Oct 30), the hospital had screened 653 patients who stayed in the two wards from January to September this year, SGH said.

Of the 653 tested, 596 were tested negative,and 54 test results are pending. Three tested positive as announced earlier, bringing the total number of patients infected to 25.

A total of 312 staff have been screened and they all tested negative.

SGH announced on Oct 6 that 22 kidney patients had contracted hepatitis C while receiving treatment in the hospital.

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