Health Department Continues To Investigate Hepatitis Outbreak - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Health Department Continues To Investigate Hepatitis Outbreak

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Two victims have now been named in the class action lawsuit against a Minot care facility. But, despite legal action against ManorCare, the department says they are still searching through evidence for the source.

The North Dakota Health Department says it can't say if the Hepatitis C outbreak was accidental or not.

Forty-four people were infected with the virus, and their ages range from 38-years-old to 100. The initial Health Department report shows the virus from the two plaintiffs of the lawsuit came from the same source.

The lawsuit alleges the outbreak could not have been by accident. The Minot outbreak is the second-largest in the nation's history, and it's also the largest outbreak to still be unsolved. But the department says it's not uncommon for Hepatitis C outbreaks to remain unsolved.

"A third of outbreaks are not solved because there's not what people refer to as a smoking gun. And sometimes you just don't find that in an outbreak situation. But that certainly doesn't mean that we aren't going to continue to look," says Tracy Miller of the North Dakota Health Department.

The department says they are continuing to view the evidence that they have from various angles. Moving forward Miller says the department has recommended an infection control consultant along with on going surveillance of the facility.

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