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Tattoo, Piercing Shop Creates HIV and Hepatitis Risk

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Learn why the Durham Region Health Department is concerned that nearly 2,000 people may have been exposed to diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV over an eight-month time span at a tattoo and body-piercing shop in Oshawa, Ontario (Canada).

Tattoo, piercing shop put up to 2,000 at risk
Warned to undergo tests for HIV, hepatitis

CanWest News Service
Published: Saturday, August 11
www.canada.com

The Durham Region Health Department is looking for 1,500 to 2,000 people who were customers at an Oshawa tattoo and body-piercing shop because of concerns about communicable diseases.

The department recently closed Longhorn Custom Body-art after inspectors determined during a routine visit that a sterilizer was malfunctioning and that contaminated equipment may have been used between Nov. 17, 2006, and Aug. 1, 2007.

While describing the risk as low, the department is still concerned that such diseases as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV could have been spread to customers. It is urging them to visit a doctor for blood tests.

Ross MacEachern, manager of environmental health for Durham Region, said, “At this time, we have no evidence of transmission of infectious diseases, but because of the potential use of non-sterile equipment, there is a risk.”

The operators of the business kept records on every customer and are co-operating with health officials in trying to track them down.

It has yet to be determined whether charges will be laid against the business.

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2007

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