Harrington Case: Health Officials Link Hepatitis C to Clinic - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Harrington Case: Health Officials Link Hepatitis C to Clinic

Posted: Updated:

Oklahoma health officials say a dentist's office shut down for unsafe practices last spring is responsible for the first known transmission of hepatitis C from one dental patient to another.

The state epidemiologist said Tuesday that genetic testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that the virus was passed at the Tulsa-area offices of Dr. W. Scott Harrington.

Health officials said the use of unsanitary equipment led to cross-contamination between patients.

But State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley stressed that visits to the dentist remain safe.

Oklahoma health officials in March asked that 7,000 of Harrington's patients be tested for infectious diseases. More than 4,000 patients were tested at state clinics. Only one patient-to-patient contamination was confirmed.

The Health Department reported that 89 patients tested positive for Hepatitis C, five tested positive for Hepatitis B, and four tested positive for HIV. However, health officials recognize some results are not from the dental practice. The state's lab processed 4,202 results.

Executive Director of the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry Susan Rogers said officials' findings may have saved lives. She said Harrington is still scheduled to go before the board to learn whether or not he can keep his dental license in January.

Rogers confirmed to Channel 8 that Harrington's lawyer has filed a motion that includes a concern about her acting as a prosecutor and witness in Harrington's dental board hearing. She said that has always been the case.

"I obviously never intended to be the prosecutor and the witness at the same time," Rogers said. She said she is an investigator in this case and that has not changed.

Channel 8 reached out to Harrington's lawyer for comment on the case and did not immediately hear back.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

  • Top Videos

  • NewsMore>>

  • OSU's Football Program No Longer Under APR Restriction

    OSU's Football Program No Longer Under APR Restriction

    OSU athletic department officials discovered the recent graduation of student-athlete from the 1990s, which resulted in the addition of a delayed graduation point to push the Cowboys above the threshold for restrictions.More >>
    OSU athletic department officials discovered the recent graduation of student-athlete from the 1990s, which resulted in the addition of a delayed graduation point to push the Cowboys above the threshold for restrictions.More >>
  • Authorities Seek Adair Co. Murder Suspect

    Authorities Seek Adair Co. Murder Suspect

    The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is offering a cash reward for anyone who can provide helpful information as they try to locate James Manken, a 40-year-old homicide suspect.More >>
    The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is offering a cash reward for anyone who can provide helpful information as they try to locate James Manken, a 40-year-old homicide suspect.More >>
  • OSU, Tulsa Will Play Each Other

    OSU, Tulsa Will Play Each Other

    The University of Tulsa and Oklahoma State University have agreed to terms for a two-game series in men’s basketball and a three-game football series.More >>
    The University of Tulsa and Oklahoma State University have agreed to terms for a two-game series in men’s basketball and a three-game football series.More >>

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
loading...
Powered by WorldNow

P.O. Box 8 Tulsa, OK 74101-0008

Powered by WorldNow

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTUL. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.