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Thousands of patients may have been exposed to HIV, Hepatitis in Oklahoma



HOUSTON, March 29 – A dentist in Oklahoma state in the US may have exposed up to 7,000 patients to hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV since 2007, state officials said Thursday.  Health officials are urging W. Scott Harrington, a dentist based in Tulsa City to be tested for HIV and hepatitis in an ongoing investigation with the state board of dentistry, Xinhua news agency reported quoting a report by FOX news.

The possible exposure reportedly happened at Harrington’s dental practice in Tulsa and Owasso in Oklahoma, and officials are sending letters to all 7,000 patients.  Susan Rogers, executive director of Oklahoma Board of Dentistry, said  Harrington had a high number of patients diagnosed with hepatitis or HIV and an investigation into his practice found numerous violations of health and safety laws and major violations of the State Dental Act.

Dental Board investigators have been assisted by agents from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration concerning the maintenance, control and use of drugs on the premises. Harrington is facing 17 allegations from the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry due to health and safety violations levied against his practice, according to news website NewOn6.com.  Health authorities said transmissions of these diseases in this type of occupational setting is rare.