Nebraska Revokes Medical License of Doctor Linked to Hepatitis C Outbreak
Nebraska officials on Wednesday revoked the medical license of Dr. Tahir Javed, who officials say is responsible for a hepatitis C outbreak in his Freemont, Neb., clinic, the AP/Las Vegas Sun reports. Nearly one hundred people were infected with hepatitis C, which can cause severe liver damage, and one patient has died due to the infection (AP/Las Vegas Sun, 10/1). Clinic officials discovered the outbreak in October 2002, and the clinic was officially closed within one month. Health officials speculated that the infections may have occurred when a worker at the clinic, which specializes in chemotherapy and hematology, reused a contaminated needle and syringe to treat several people. Another possibility is that a worker used a contaminated needle to draw medication, thereby polluting the vial. Health officials sent letters to 612 patients who had received treatment between March 2000 and December 2001 advising them to get tested for hepatitis C (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/31). In a state settlement, Javed did not contest allegations that there were unsanitary conditions at the Fremont Cancer Clinic, according to the AP/Sun. There have been at least 81 lawsuits filed against Javed on behalf of his former patients. Javed, who has returned to Pakistan and is now a health minister there, last month told a Pakistani newspaper that the allegations were "anti-Muslim propaganda" stemming from the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks (AP/Las Vegas Sun, 10/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.