Alternative Hepatitis C Outbreak

Alternative Hepatitis C Outbreak

My day job is as an infectious disease doctor, taking care of people with infections as well as infection control for my hospitals. I spend a fair amount of time worrying about the spread of infection. Most of the time it is hard to infect people. Most organisms are not that contagious and most patients are healthy.

But occasionally there are perfect storms: a highly contagious organism delivered with high efficiency.

Hepatitis C is a particularly infectious:

Numbers of transmitted viruses leading to productive clinical infection were estimated to range from 1 to 37 or more (median = 4).

That is impressively contagious.

In the real world we use infection control policies and procedures to try and prevent the spread of disease. Of course, in the real world we understand germ theory and behave accordingly.

I remain skeptical that practitioners of pseudo-medicine have any real appreciation of germ theory. It's just a theory, after all. Acupuncturists are not keen, for example, on using personal protective equipment

Glove use is not needed for routine needle insertion or removal.

I suspect that if your paradigm for understanding health and disease is based on fiction, your fastidiousness and understanding of reality-based disease is not going to be stellar.

For example

The initial investigation into clinic A revealed infection control breaches that included reentering multidose medication vials with a used syringe, use of single-dose medication vials for multiple patients, poor hand hygiene and inconsistent glove use, and lack of aseptic technique when handling injection equipment and medication. Clinic A was advised to stop these practices, and staff members were educated on bloodborne pathogen transmission. A subsequent visit to clinic A revealed ongoing poor infection control practices by staff members

There were using prolotherapy, yet another form of pseudo-scientific needling, and gave 6 people Hepatitis C. 

One study noted that,

A modest association between hepatitis C and acupuncture has been reported in some countries.

We can now include prolotherapy as well. As Comic Book Guy might note, Hepatitis C and pseudo-medicine are a dangerous mix.

Points of Interest 06/04/2016
Points of Interest 06/02/2016

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