Victoria’s botched coronavirus hotel quarantine program may have inadvertently exposed returning travelers to blood-borne viruses such as HIV
Safer Care Victoria announced on Monday that clients of the quarantined accommodation are being contacted for preventive screening for cross-contamination and infection
Based on his health record, 243 guests underwent a blood sugar test from March 29 to August 20
Test devices not designed to be shared have been used on multiple residents, posing a risk of cross-contamination and infections with blood-borne viruses, including hepatitis B and C and HIV
Safer Care Victoria Acting Associate Professor Ann Maree Keenan said the clinical risk of infection is low
« The health of the former quarantine residents is our immediate concern, so organizing testing for them is our top priority, » she said in a statement.
« The clinical risk is low But if you are concerned about having taken this test – and we have not contacted you yet – please call us »
The Department of Health and Human Services said it was helping Safer Care Victoria and Alfred Health identify and contact residents about the ‘newly identified risk’
The devices were removed from hotel quarantine in August and are believed not to have contributed to the spread of COVID-19 because the virus is not transmitted through blood
The needles for the finger prick tests have been changed between uses, but the body of the device is capable of retaining microscopic amounts of blood
Most of the diabetics quarantined at the hotel would have had their own device and would not need a test from a nurse or doctor during their 14 day stay
« The test can also be used for pregnant women, people who have passed out or people who are generally ill, » the statement said.
Safer Care Victoria has promised a full review of how and why the devices were used
« At this time, we will not be able to answer the many questions people will have about how this happened, » said Professor Keenan
« I hope we will be able to provide peace of mind by involving people in the tests and with the results of our review »
All returning travelers who are concerned about having passed the test and have not been contacted can call the dedicated DHHS hotline at 1-800-356 061 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Quarantine, HIV, Coronavirus, Victoria, HIV / AIDS, Bloodborne Diseases
EbeneNews – UA – Travelers returning from the State of the Victorian State may have been exposed to blood-borne viruses