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The Globe and Mail

No proof patients got hepatitis C at Ottawa clinic

Isra Levy is Ottawa's Medical Officer of Health.

dave chan The Globe and Mail

Ottawa's Medical Officer of Health says he expects "several individuals" who were patients of an Ottawa doctor will test positive for various infections. But Isra Levy won't comment on a class-action suit launched against doctor Christiane Farazli that claims four patients have tested positive for hepatitis C.

Merchant Law Group in Regina says three patients recently found out they tested positive, while a fourth has known for some time. The law firm stresses there is no proof the patients contracted the disease at the clinic.

The class action seeks damages for patients who had colonoscopies, endoscopies and similar procedures at Dr. Farazli's clinic.

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Letters were sent last month to approximately 6,800 people after health officials discovered the clinic wasn't following some procedures involving cleaning and infection prevention.

It applies to anyone who underwent the endoscopic examinations between April, 2002 and June, 2011.

Dr. Levy said there was no way of knowing how long proper cleaning procedures were not being followed.

Health officials said the risk of infection is less than one in a million patients for hepatitis B, less than one in 50 million for hepatitis C and almost zero, or less than one in three billion patients for HIV.

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