After the health fair at the Scarborough Village Recreation Centre, a complaint was filed on 25 March. Public health officials have investigated the complaint and they reached the conclusion that some needles were reused by mistake. According to the report, more than 30 people must go to see a doctor, as the needles haven’t been “consistently changed”. There is a potential risk of exposing those people that got tested for diabetes to viruses like Hepatitis or HIV.
There Are Low Chances Of Getting Viruses
Lenore Bromley, the spokesperson for the Toronto Public Health said the following:
“While certain viruses carried in the blood, such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV can be passed through re-use of lancets, the chances of these viruses being passed are very low.”
Bromley added that the THP staff has already contacted the people that are “those potentially affected through calls and also sent letters to notify them in writing of the matter and potential health risk.
They should, “as a precautionary measure, TPH recommended for those individuals to follow up with a health care provider”, added Bromley.
At the health fair, MPP Arthur Potts and Mitzie Hunter got tested too, with Potts tweeting a photo of him.
It’s a Rare Infection Control Breach
An associate medical officer for THP, Dr. Herveen Sachdeva, stated in an email that this “infection control breach” is being investigated by the city department. She also added that those who just attended the fair and didn’t take blood sugar tests for diabetes shouldn’t need to worry.
The investigation could take months, because the illnesses need time to develop and appear in future blood tests. Sachdeva said how the reuse of needles happened:
“It is unfortunate that this occurred. TPH has investigated glucometer reuse in the past and it is very important for people using glucometers to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and to not reuse these medical devices between clients.”
Those that got the diabetes test at the health fair can contact Toronto Public Health and get more information.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.