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Veterans that underwent colonoscopies between May 2004 and March 2009 may be at risk for hepatitis and HIV. This past Monday, a Miami Veterans Hospital sent 3,260 patients letters warning them about the risk. The possible exposure is due to the improper cleaning of equipment. Veterans who may be at risk should contact the Special Care Call Center at (305) 575-7256 or 1-877-575-7256.

This is not the first time Veterans have been exposed to dangerous infections. Last month 6,400 patients in Tennessee were informed that they may have been exposed to infectious diseases from colonoscopies between 2003 and 2008. An additional 1,100 veterans in Augusta, Georgia received a similar notification.

The Veterans Affairs Department stated that 10 people have tested positive for infectious liver diseases after being exposed to contaminated colonoscopy equipment. Four have tested positive for hepatitis B and six have tested positive for hepatitis C–a potentially life threatening form of the disease.

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