Thursday, May 8, 2008 | 10:09 a.m.
The Regional Health District of Southern Nevada announced today that 77 cases of potential hepatitis C cases have been identified from those who have been tested since an outbreak was announced in January.
The 77 cases are not acute hepatitis C, said Jennifer Sizemore, a spokeswoman for the health district. Of the 49,000 people notified by health officials, these 77 people were then interviewed and identified, she said.
To date there have been eight cases of acute hepatitis C cases identified with links to a clinic that reused syringes and provided anesthesia to two or more patients from single dose vials. Seven of them have been linked to the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada operated by Dr. Dipak Desai, who is not allowed to practice medicine and is under investigation by state and local authorities.
Seven of the acute hepatitis C cases have been linked to the clinic at 700 Shadow Lane and the eighth to another clinic owned by Desai.
Sizemore said that health district officials expected to find more hepatitis C cases as more people are tested. Health officials have interviewed people with hepatitis C who matched a list given to them by the Endoscopy Center, she said. It can take up to six months to develop acute hepatitis C, which can affect liver functions, she said.