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Seattle school children potentially exposed to HIV and other diseases from unsterile dental tools

Seattle school children potentially exposed to HIV and other diseases from unsterile dental tools

Health officials are urging all patients who were exposed prior to March 4 to get tested.

The last time we visited Washington state in these posts, there was a significant outbreak of measles in the county adjacent to the blue wonderland of Portland, Oregon.

Now, public health officials have warned that more than 1,000 students have a potential risk for HIV and hepatitis B and C after they received dental care at 12 schools in and around Seattle due to improperly sterilized dental tools.

The utensils, which were used to treat 1,250 kids at the schools’ dental clinics, weren’t properly sterilized, KING-TV reported.

The King County Department of Health said the risk was low, but recommended students who may have been exposed get tested, according to KING 5.

Neighborhood Care, which operates the clinics for low-income families, said in a statement in part, “We immediately re-trained all school-based dental staff in sterilization processes and policies. We will also reassure that all new and current dental assistants across the Neighborcare Health organization are following sterilization procedures.”

Contracting HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus that causes AIDS) leads to a lifetime of antiviral drug treatments. Hepatitis B and C are liver diseases caused by viruses and can readily spread from exposure to contaminated blood or needles.

The notice covers specific schools in the Seattle area.

The affected schools in Seattle are Denny International Middle School, Chief Sealth International High School, Van Asselt Elementary, Mercer Middle School, Roxhill Elementary, West Seattle Elementary, Highland Park Elementary, Madison Middle School, Beacon Hill International and Bailey Gazert Elementary.

The two Vashon Island schools are Chautauqua Elementary and McMurray Middle School.

Neighborcare Health said that during the period in question, the handpieces were cleaned with a germicidal disinfectant that kills pathogens associated with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV – but some handpieces did not undergo required heat sterilization. All other instruments used during dental procedures were properly sterilized.

Officials with the King County Department of Health says the infection risk is low and that it has not received any reports of infected patients yet.

‘We are sincerely sorry for any distress this incident may have caused our patients, their families, and our partners,’ Neighborcare said in a statement.

‘We are working to be transparent in our understanding of what happened, the actual risk to potentially affected patients, and how we can ensure that this incident will not happen again.’

I would like to remind the health officials in Washington that the early stage symptoms of HIV, as well as Hepatitis B and C, may be mistaken for a severe cold or the flu. So, the statement that there are “no reports” of illness are meaningless until testing confirms none of the children have an infection.

In fact, public health officials have urged all patients who were exposed prior to March 4, the date the sterilization process was corrected, to get tested.


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I’m confused.
Public schools are now offering DENTAL CARE?
I remember when it was all about the three R’s.

    Morning Sunshine in reply to herm2416. | April 5, 2019 at 8:23 am

    and this is why little Johnny can barely read, cannot write and cannot even use a calculator to figure correctly

    BobM in reply to herm2416. | April 5, 2019 at 9:28 am

    In school dental care, vaccinations, free breakfast or lunch, pre or after school babysitting for working parents, depending on the district snd school there’s a bunch of benefits available that have only tenuous connection to the three “R’s.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to herm2416. | April 5, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    How did this happen, did they hire some affirmative shiftless dullards?

healthguyfsu | April 5, 2019 at 8:14 am

Lawsuits forthcoming.

If the tests are negative, there will be suits for emotional turmoil/trauma.

    2nd Ammendment Mother in reply to healthguyfsu. | April 5, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Not worth the effort, qualified immunity caps a successful lawsuit award around $50K, which won’t cover the lawyer’s bill.

    TimothyJ in reply to healthguyfsu. | April 5, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    I would bet you almost anything that before those dentists started work they got a hold harmless agreement from the state.

I can’t wait for Grubernment Healthcare!

They do such a great job we should turn over all healthcare to them.


    Massinsanity in reply to Barry. | April 5, 2019 at 9:56 am

    Where does even find “dental assistants” who don’t know they dental instruments must be sterilized?

    Were this “clinics” also providing dental “care” to the neighborhood junkies? Is that why there is concern over HIV and Hep B/C?

      Massinsanity in reply to Massinsanity. | April 5, 2019 at 9:59 am

      Bad typos on my part. First question “they” should be “that”, second question “this” should be “these”

Merlin01, “I can’t wait for Grubernment Healthcare!”

Bingo. No doubt this point will be swept under the liberal carpet.

Well, do any patients have it already? To transfer anything between patients with unsterilized tools, somebody has to have something nasty; otherwise there’s nothing to spread.

It’s probably illegal for them to say. Patient confidentiality or some such excuse.

Why did it take a month to tell the public?

In Oregon the nanny state is considering mandatory mental health evaluation for school children.

    alaskabob in reply to rightway. | April 5, 2019 at 11:35 am

    So what happens to the children that aren’t healthy enough to contribute to Oregon’s progressive utopia?

    MajorWood in reply to rightway. | April 6, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    I wonder if the assessments will be done by the same .gov whizkids who were so “on-the-mark” with the Hart family/tribe?

    The findings from the Hart assessment are due to be published in J. Duh.

That is Government Health Care in action. Remember, to error is human but if you really want it FUBAR then let Government do it. See: DMV and USPS.

Another example of the complete fail of Socialism.

buckeyeminuteman | April 5, 2019 at 10:27 am

Government run schools and government run healthcare. My children are all still toddlers, but I’m legitimately scared for their future. America is supposed to be a beacon of freedom, liberty and choice to the world. Once that beacon is snuffed out, where do you turn?

JusticeDelivered | April 5, 2019 at 12:55 pm

Denny International Middle School

2 out of 5 stars

Racial breakdown:
African American:24.5%

Free/discounted lunch recipients: 71.0%

Ghetto lottery seekers are rejoicing. Trayvon’s pseudo parents are looking for a way to cash in again.

Subotai Bahadur | April 5, 2019 at 1:14 pm

To the Elites in the West Coast Peoples’ Republic, HIV and all varieties of Hepatitis are sacraments, so long as the Peasants do not infect the Elites. You will note that in LA, the government did not care about Hepatitis in the general population until a government employee caught it in City Hall.

Subotai Bahadur

Where are the blaring headlines similar to the Flint water crisis?

    JusticeDelivered in reply to 4fun. | April 5, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    I grew up in Flint, before it turned into a ghetto. Flint’s water crisis was self inflicted. There are few prosperous people in Flint today, they have almost no taxbase.

    For the past 50-60 years, Flint has run one con after another to get people outside the city to pay their way. Then they ran the water crisis con on the whole state.

    Houses in Flint’s ghetto sell for $2000-4000, state residents have paid $12,000 and up to replace water service lines and internal house plumbing which was really the owners responsibility.

Ok, I’m almost 60 years young and when we all attended public school back in the day we did get free teeth cleanings if you were eligible. My big huh!! is wouldn’t the sterilization of the instruments be the top priority when cleaning over 1000 children’s mouths???????????????