2007_06_hepc.jpegThe city's Health Department is investigating three hepatitis C infection in people who "received intravenous (IV) anesthesia from the same NYC-based anesthesiologist." Oh, dear. The incidents occurred in August of last year, and it seems like the anesthesia was given in an out-patient (not a hospital) facility. The DOH is contacting about 4,500 patients who received IV anesthesia between December 1, 2003 and May 1, 2007 at the 10 outpatient facilities the doctor worked in to recommend they get tested.

The doctor has stopped working, and the NY State Department of Health says the doctor has not been suspended, because it's not clear he or she engaged in misconduct: "He or she has been a licensed physician since 1977 and does not have a history of spreading infection."

Hepatitis C is a liver infection, which doesn't have noticeable symptoms. There's more information here; the DOH says hepatitis C is not spread by casual contact such as hugging, sneezing, coughing, or sharing food and drinks.

Hepatitis C plush available for purchase at Nature's Odyssey