Hepatitis Central

The latest research & treatment news about Hepatitis C infection, diagnosis, symptoms and treatments.

Twelve More Finkelstein Patients Test Positive for Hepatitis

December 26, 2007

Print this page

While most doctors are vigilant about disease transmission prevention, Long Island physician Dr. Harvey Finkelstein violated this vigilance when he reused syringes on his clientele. Although nearly impossible to determine where the infection originated, twelve more of Finkelstein’s patients have just tested positive for Hepatitis.

Twelve test positive for hepatitis B and C

By Ridgely Ochs | ridgely.ochs@newsday.com
December 5, 2007

As state Sen. Kemp Hannon prepares to convene a hearing Thursday on the Dr. Harvey Finkelstein case, patients of the Dix Hills physician continue to stream into Nassau County clinics to be tested for blood-borne infections.

As of Wednesday, six of 119 Finkelstein patients tested in the past few weeks were positive for hepatitis B, and six have been found with hepatitis C, according to the Nassau County Health Department. A total of 149 so far are scheduled to be tested by Nassau. More than 1,200 people have been notified by the state that they should be tested.

State health department spokeswoman Claudia Hutton cautioned that because the virus may have mutated in people’s bodies since 2004, when Finkelstein was found to be re-using syringes in multi-dose vials, it’s impossible to determine whether the infections stemmed from his improper practices.

“The cases may not trace back to Dr. Finkelstein,” Hutton said. “Hepatitis B and hepatitis C do exist in society and people do have them. Getting them from a health care exposure is rare; getting them any number of other ways is not so rare,” she said.

Hepatitis C is the most common chronic bloodborne viral infection in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 4.1 million Americans have been infected with the virus, of whom 3.2 million have a chronic infection that can last for the rest of their lives. One in 20 Americans will get hepatitis B at some point in their lives, according to the CDC; about 1.25 million Americans have a chronic hepatitis B infection.

Hannon (R-Garden City), the head of the Senate’s health committee, decided to hold the hearing as the Finkelstein controversy unfolded last month.

The health department came under fire because it took almost three years to notify hundreds of patients of the transmission and to urge them to be tested.

Hutton made it clear Wednesday that the state’s investigation of specific cases involving Finkelstein patients is done: “The epidemiological investigation is over,” she said. “We do not intend to do anything about test results. The reason we notify people is to urge them to get tested and to seek appropriate care.”

The state used genetic fingerprinting to confirm in early 2006 the transmission of hepatitis C in Finkelstein’s office. But because viruses mutate over time, it’s too late to use that technique now.

“At this point we are not trying to do a mosaic of every patient of Dr. Finkelstein,” Hutton said.

Although she said the health department “cared intimately” about each patient’s disease diagnosis, “what would be the purpose to figure out a second or third transmission except to sue Dr. Finkelstein? That’s not the health department’s job. That’s why people hire attorneys,” she said.

Posted by The Editors at Hepatitis Central on December 26, 2007

Requirements for using and reposting articles

Site Topics

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Some of our most commonly asked questions and our answers to them.

  • What Is Hepatitis C?

    Learn about the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV).

  • Hepatitis C Transmission

    Information about the transmission of Hepatitis C.

  • Hepatitis C Symptoms

    You'll find links to a comprehensive symptoms list, as well as various studies and discussions about Hepatitis C symptoms.

  • Hepatitis C Conventional Treatment

    Learn about the conventional medical treatments used to fight Hepatitis C.

  • Hepatitis C Medicines

    Numerous links to studies, info sheets, FAQs, and analysis of Ribavirin/Rebetron medicines.

  • Hepatitis C Alternative Therapies

    Alternative methods of treatment due to side effects and dissatisfication with current medical treatments.

  • Hepatitis C Natural Remedies

    A number of herbal products useful in the management of liver disease.

  • Hepatitis Central News Signup

    Receive the latest news on hepatitis treatments, clinical trials, social issues and important breakthroughs.

  • Hepatitis C Genotypes

    Learn about Hepatitis C Genotypes and their variants.

  • Hepatitis C Doctors

    A state-by-state and worldwide reference listing physicians who treat HCV, including an email link to submit your physician for inclusion.

  • Hepatitis C Links

    Convenient links to other sites external to Hepatitis-Central.

  • Hepatitis C Forum External link

    A Bulletin Board for discussions on hepatitis, treatments, etc.

  • Hepatitis C Activism External link

    An easy way to get involved in urging our government to do more for Hepatitis C awareness and treatment research.

  • Hepatitis B

    Numerous links to various Hepatitis B related information, including transmission, symptoms and treatment.

  • Biopsy Information

    A comprehensive resource of information relating to the liver biopsy.

  • Cirrhosis

    Many discussions and analyses of cirrhosis, including causes, complications, pathology, symptoms, and much more.

  • Glossary

    Commonly used medical terms and definitions.

  • Lab Tests

    What they are and what they mean. Helps you interpret & understand all the various hepatitis lab tests likely to be encountered.

  • Liver Cancer

    Liver Cancer/Hepatocellular Carcinoma studies, info sheets, FAQs, and analysis.

  • Liver Disease and Drugs

    An exhaustive list of links to studies, info sheets, FAQs, and analysis of the various drugs used to treat liver disease.

  • Viral Load

    Provides detailed information on how to analyze and interpret viral load numbers as well as a link to a convenient Viral Load Chart.

  • Top 5 Liver Supplements

    Provides information regarding the best known liver supporting supplements.

  • Top 5 Milk Thistles

    Provides information regarding the best known milk thistle supplements.

  • What is...?

    Learn more about various Hepatitis C related topics, including HCV, Ascites, Biopsies, and much more.

  • Hepatitis C Books

    Recommended reading for those interested in hepatitis information.


Search R&T News