Skip to comments.Hepatitis C Scare At New Jersey School
Posted on 02/23/2005 7:18:26 PM PST by Calpernia
Health officials are worried that a sharp object used to stab about 20 students at a school dance could have transmitted the hepatitis C virus.
One boy who was stuck at the Warren Hills Regional Middle School in Washington on Feb. 11 has tested positive in an initial screening for the virus, and more tests are pending to confirm the result, Warren County health officer John Hawk said.
Officials do not believe the boy got the virus from being stabbed at the Valentine's Day dance. "But the problem is, whoever attacked this student stuck other people. So others could have caught it," Hawk told The Star-Ledger of Newark in Wednesday's newspapers.
Hawk was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.
The state had 415 cases of hepatitis C last year, of which 19 were in Warren County, a decline from the 514 reported statewide, with 23 in Warren County, in 2003, said Jennifer Sciortino, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Senior Services, on Wednesday. She did not have statistics on any fatalities.
Health officials and the school notified parents on Friday about the initial finding, and called parents of the students who said they were stuck at the dance to suggest they have blood screenings, principal Robert Griffin said.
The school believes that more than 20 of the 432 students at the dance may have been stabbed, he said. "Not everybody came forward initially, and more youngsters have come forward since the dance. We need to know how many students were involved," he said.
The person who did the stabbing has not been identified, he said.
Sheila Risley, county health educator, said hepatitis C can take two weeks to six months to appear in a person's blood.
Students from Washington Borough, Washington Township, Mansfield and Franklin attend the school for grades seven and eight.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by a virus. It can be transmitted when blood or body fluids from an infected person enter the body of a person who is not infected. It causes between 8,000 deaths and 10,000 deaths in the United States each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If left untreated, hepatitis C can result in liver damage, which can lead to serious conditions such as liver cancer or cirrhosis.
WTF?? Then how did they know they were stabbed? I someone stabbed me I would instantly look up and find out. This smells like the reporter is holding back information.
Most commonly spread through: Intravenous drug use.
How serious: About 85 percent of those infected will develop chronic liver disease and need medical treatment. Liver failure caused by chronic hepatitis C infection is the leading cause of liver transplants in the United States. Hepatitis C leads to 8,000 to 10,000 deaths per year.
How many infected each year: 30,000 Americans, 3,000 in New Jersey. Between 4 million and 5 million Americans are infected.
Prevention: Avoid sharing toothbrushes, razors, needles and other personal care items; avoid intravenous drugs or those inhaled through a straw or sharp object that can break the skin; use only reputable practitioners for tattooing or body piercing.
I heard more about this one the local radio. I'm having trouble finding more articles to post.
A large number of kids started complaining of being pinched. This is how they tracked down who to test.
This kid ran around pricking kids during the dance, so I think the gym had slightly dimmer lighting at the time. All future dances are cancelled untill the culprit is caught. That also goes for the Senior High School, about a 1/2 mile away. My girlfriend is a teacher at the school and she said that the school nurse examined the kids after the fact. She thought that the puncture wounds looked like a pin prick not a hypodermic needle, too shallow.
When I first started out as an RN (1989), every baby that was admitted to the hospital during the winter would have a nasal culture for RSV (respiratory virus). Most would test positive, and if they did, they were subjected to 18 hours a day/5 days of Ribavirin, that was delivered via a mist inside an "oxygen tent". Most that were being treated also needed frequent albuterol nebulizer treatments (although wheezing is common in some children with RSV, I often wondered how much of the wheezing was from the Ribavirin). When you walked down the hall, it looked like a major fog in the hallway. Also, we couldn't wear our contacts, as the Ribavirin ruined them. Eventually, they have totally done away with Ribavirin as a treatment for RSV, and it's now reserved for Hep C and Hanta Virus.
In addition to the facts you posted, 25% of Hep C patients will develop liver cancer.
Great. See what these young children get to look forward to for being at a school activity.
I would love to know if anyone got into this school dance that didn't belong to the school.
While the risk of Hep C (formerly non-A, non-B Hep) is certainly significantly reduced since 1990-91, all blood transfusion are NOT free from Hep C (at least to my understanding).
I think the quoted rate of transmission via blood product transfusion is about 1:100,000...
"From what I understand, Ribavirin and Interferon are only effective with certain strains of Hep C."
A lot of that depends on the treatment regimen.
Some doctors will only prescribe for three times a week. That doesn't work too well. One promient doctor reports better results (40-60% of patients virus negative for two to three years following treatment) with lower doses administered daily.
I also understand that the newer pegylated interferon works better than even daily injections of plain interferon.
You're right about ribavirin: that is some nasty stuff, and it will flat mess you up. Interferon, too. Better than dying, though.
Well....maybe.....I have a friend who is 72 who got Hep C from blood transfusions during heart surgery many years ago(evidently) - the Hep C didn't show up until about 5 years ago. She is in REMISSION through chinese herbs, careful diet, and the prayers of her family...
yeah,...the local NYC ch7 ABC news had some kids saying they knew who it was but were[afraid/reluctant??] to say,...said the wound/mark was larger than a pin-prick,PC
"Thought it might have come from a dirty needle the army used in giving shots. He served for about 25 years."
Please allow me to offer my condolences.
As far as I am concerned, the VA's treatment of Hep C patients is a scandal. I think they're afraid that if they ever admit how many men they (unknowlingly) gave Hep C to, the costs would be astronomical.
Sometimes life is not fair to us.
For these children who have been exposed, it will not be
an easy time in the future.