//Frequently Asked Questions – Hepatitis C Investigations

Frequently Asked Questions – Hepatitis C Investigations

General Information – Visit the Investigation Overview or Exposure Registry questions for more information.


Am I the source of the infection at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada?

The health district’s investigation has identified the two source patients who had procedures at the Endoscopy Center on either July 25 or Sept. 21. These are the dates that the health district has identified as dates of known disease transmission.

If you are the source case, the health district will be contacting you directly.

The health district is notifying the source patients and those who had procedures on those dates of this updated information.

Who are the source patients?

The health district will not publicly release protected patient information.

I think that I am one of the 77 hepatitis C patients who you reported as “potentially clinic associated.” Can you verify that?

We are not able to verify information on the telephone. It is recommended that you enroll in the Hepatitis C Exposure Registry. This will provide information to the health district that could assist us to classify your infection.

You can contact the health district’s epidemiology department at (702) 759-1300 if you have additional questions.

Why can’t you say with real certainty that the 77 cases you previously reported are positively linked to clinic and the source patients?

At this time, the health district can only determine that these 77 cases of hepatitis C infection are potentially associated with the clinic because we are unable to test these samples genetically. Because the procedure dates are different, we have no additional sources identified to test against.

The health district did not receive a complete patient list from the Shadow Lane clinic so we are not certain who could be tested. Many former patients who were tested and whose results were submitted to the health district were not on the lists. We are not certain of their procedure dates or which clinic they visited.

Aren’t you going to genetically test those 77 patients?

We are not able to genetically test the samples of these 77 patients for several reasons. The hepatitis C virus mutates quickly and the virus in these patients could have changed significantly since their infection.

We do not have a source patient that will allow us to compare genetic samples.

What do I do if I am positive for hepatitis C and visited either clinic but my procedure was on a different date?

The health district is still investigating the outbreak, however, at this time there are no other identified clusters of infection. We cannot determine if you were infected at the clinic or prior to your procedure.

The health district recommends that you enroll in the Hepatitis C Exposure Registry. This will assist our investigation to determine if there are any additional clusters of transmission or illness related to the outbreak. The registry will also allow us to determine the case classification for your infection.

If you are positive, it is also recommended that you develop a relationship with a physician who can manage your medical care.

How did you determine the source of these cases? Why can’t you determine the source of the Burnham clinic?

The two cases that are the source of infection for July 25 and Sept. 21 are two separate patients. We know that each had a procedure on one of the two dates. Through genetic testing, we are able to determine that the strains of the hepatitis C virus in the cluster of patients who had procedures on those two dates are the same or are a nearly identical match to make the connection.

The Desert Shadow clinic was closed when the acute case was reported and the source of disease transmission cannot be determined. We were not able to observe unsafe practices to determine transmission, a source for infection or any additional dates of disease transmission.

We are not certain if our list from the Burnham clinic is complete.

If additional information becomes available, the health district will continue its investigation and revise recommendations to patients as appropriate.

I had a procedure at the Desert Shadow Endoscopy Center/Burnham clinic, should I get tested?

The health district continues to advise patients who are concerned about their health to speak with their physicians or healthcare providers about your risk of exposure and testing. Your physician will be able to advise you and will be able to manage your health care needs.

Why aren’t you specifically recommending testing for patients at the Desert Shadow Endoscopy Center?

At this time, the health district is not able to make specific recommendations due to incomplete information. The clinic was closed when the acute case was reported and the health district was not able to interview staff or observe clinic practices.

Due to the lack of documentation, the health district encourages patients to discuss their concerns and risk of disease with their physician or healthcare provider and to pursue testing for hepatitis C, B and HIV if they are concerned. A source of disease transmission has not been determined.

If you knew one person got sick, how come you are not advising everyone to get tested like patients at the Shadow Lane clinic?

At this time, the health district is not able to make specific recommendations based on incomplete information. The Desert Shadow clinic was closed when the acute case was reported, the health district could not observe clinic practices, and the source of disease transmission cannot be determined.

If additional information becomes available, the health district will continue its investigation and revise recommendations to patients as appropriate.

The health district encourages patients to speak with their physicians about their risk of exposure or pursue testing.

How do I get my test results?

Your test results should be available from the physician or health care provider who ordered your test.

I did not get my notification letter and I know I was a patient at the Desert Shadow/Burnham Ave. clinic.

The health district will be sending a letter to patients of the Desert Shadow clinic to advise them about the findings of the investigation as well as information about the Hepatitis C Exposure Registry.

There is no way verifying that the patient list from the Desert Shadow clinic is complete. If you were a patient at the clinic and did not receive a letter or have a question about the registry, visit Exposure Registry webpage.

Patients who are concerned about their health or have questions about whether they should be tested are advised to contact their primary care physician or health care provider to determine what their next steps should be.

I think I was at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada and didn’t get my letter. What am I supposed to do?

The Southern Nevada Health District has determined the list of patients received from the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada is not complete. If you visited the clinic between March 2004 and January 11, 2008, it is recommended that you contact your physician. He or she should have information regarding the referral to the clinic and should be able to provide you with the appropriate information so you can get the lab testing completed.

In addition, your insurance provider should be able to provide you with the dates of service for your procedure at the clinic. A copy of the letter is on the Patient Resources webpage.

Can you tell me if I’m on the list and if I should receive a letter?

The Southern Nevada Health District has determined the list of patients received from the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada is not complete and due to patient confidentiality issues, we are not able tell you whether or not you are on the list. We recommend that you contact your physician. He or she should have information regarding the referral to the clinic.

Do I need a letter to get tested?

As with any lab testing, you will need an order from your physician that you must bring to the lab. The health district does not provide lab orders for testing. You should contact your physician about testing.

I was a patient at the Burnham Ave. clinic and I want to get tested, but I don’t have a primary care doctor or insurance. What should I do?

A list of resources is available on the Patient Resources webpage. Nevada Health Centers provides care for uninsured Nevadans, (800) 787-2568.

How do I get my records from the clinics on Burnham Ave. and Shadow Lane?Updated January 14, 2009

It is recommended that patients who are seeking their medical records consult with their primary care physicians or health care providers to obtain them.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is no longer processing requests for return of patient files confiscated from the Gastroenterology Center of Nevada.

Download METRO’s press release PDF 115 KB for information on how to request your records.

I visited the Henderson clinic, where or how can I get my medical records?

Patients who visited the Gastroenterology Center of Nevada located at 2610 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway in Henderson can contact the Henderson City Attorney’s office at (702) 267-1200. The office is tracking requests for records and will provide information on obtaining records once they become available.

Did you close the other clinics?

The Southern Nevada Health District does not have regulatory authority over medical facilities and does not have the authority to close these types of facilities. The various governmental agencies holding their business licenses made the decision to close them.

Why were the clinics closed then?

The business licenses were suspended by the county and/or the cities of Las Vegas and Henderson.

Are you sending letters to patients at the other affiliated clinics?

The Southern Nevada Health District has not received any reports of illness associated with the other affiliated clinics and has not conducted any investigations of them. As we have not had any reports of illness or transmission of any diseases at those clinics, we are not sending letters to their patients. If you have any concerns, you should contact your primary care physician to discuss them.

If I had a procedure at one of the other facilities, should I get tested?

We have not received any reports of illnesses at any of the other facilities, if you are concerned about your health or if you have questions about whether or not you should get tested, you should consult with your physician.

I had a procedure at the Gastrointestinal Diagnostic Center at 3196 Maryland Parkway. Should I get tested?

The Nevada State Health Division/Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance (HCQC) will provide a formal Statement of Deficiencies to the Gastrointestinal Diagnostic Center at 3196 Maryland Parkway.

The health district has not had any infectious disease reports associated with this clinic to date. The health district will work with the HCQC to investigate the situation and take action as appropriate.

Information about the HCQC’s ambulatory surgical center inspections can be found at the Nevada State Health Division website, health.nv.gov/HCQC.htm.

I have a complaint regarding a local medical clinic or facility. Where should I send it or what number should I call?

The Southern Nevada Health District as well as other local health districts in the state do not have oversight or regulatory authority over those types of facilities. If you have a concern or a complaint, contact the Nevada State Health Division’s Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance at (702) 486-6515 or from northern Nevada call (775) 687-4475.

Are the other medical offices located in the same building as the endoscopy centers on Shadow Lane and Burnham affiliated with those clinics?

Multiple doctors’ offices occupy the buildings where two endoscopy centers have recently been closed. These offices are not affiliated with these centers and are not under investigation by the Southern Nevada Health District.

Contact Information

Phone:
(702) 759-1000

 

Updated on:  June 3, 2019

2019-06-03T09:48:13-07:00